Have you ever forgotten your passwords to your email and social media accounts or checked the pockets of your coat one too many times to see if your keys were still there? Have you forgotten the birthdays of your loved ones or even the names of the people you just met?
At such a young age, we can forget about simple tasks when we multitask or are too busy. Physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and even depression are common factors. Sometimes, these moments of forgetfulness are connected to what we call age-related memory loss, and it accompanies the process of aging.
But what causes memory and other cognitive abilities to go soft? Although we may fear the onset of certain neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia, chances are, our brains, like our bodies, are just getting older. Age-related memory loss is as common as the rain, and it happens to everyone—even with young people.
The Whitehall II study, also known as the Stress and Health Study by UCL, revealed that our memory, cognitive reasoning, and understanding start declining as early as 45 years old. So if you feel like you’re already losing your edge, that’s understandable.
Luckily, thanks to decades of research, there are various strategies you can use to sharpen your memory and even help you with preventing disorders in the future. Here are seven tips that you can try.
Memory strength is just like muscular strength. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Experts think that keeping your brain constantly challenged and active triggers the processes that help each individual maintain healthy brain cells and helps you with Alzheimer’s and Dementia care.
Learning a new skill is a great way to enhance your brain’s memory retention capacity. But what exercise is the most effective method for improving memory? There are many activities to choose from, but most importantly, you’ll need to find something that forces you to go the extra mile and keeps your brain working.
Here are some examples:
- Learn a new instrument
- Make pottery
- Play brain-training games, like Sudoku or chess
- Practice a new type of dance
- Learn a new language
Use All Your Senses
The more senses you use in doing something, the more your brain will be involved, which can help retain more information. The ability to hear, touch, see, taste, and smell is already innate in the human body, and these five senses allow you to keep a sharp memory.
While vision is often thought of as the strongest of the senses, experts also suggest scents trigger emotional memories due to the olfactory bulb in the brain is.
Furthermore, the nerves located under the skin send information to your brain about what you touch. Your ears also receive and amplify sound waves, and your brain interprets them as information.
Experts also link having a proper diet to having a sharper memory as you age. Nutritionists claim that the easiest way to do it is to follow a well-balanced diet that includes different varieties of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Include fatty fish in your diet that can play an essential role in building brain and nerve cells since they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids— which helps delay cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel are examples of oily fish rich in omega-3. People can also get omega-3 from soybeans, nuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, algal oil, walnut, and other seeds.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Studies have shown that catching eight hours of sleep after learning a new task can help you be mentally sharp. Sleep is essential for your memory, as the brain uses the time you are sleeping to process information and consolidate it for later. Furthermore, even a one-hour nap can improve performance on specific tasks.
Manage Chronic Conditions
If your memory loss becomes persistent, immediately visit your doctor and follow their treatment recommendations. The better you know your status, the better you can take care of your brain. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medicines can also affect memory.
Developing a neurological disorder is the worst scenario. In this case, there are several Alzheimer’s and dementia care options, including in-home services or assisted living facilities.
Believe in Yourself
As cliche as it may sound, believing in yourself can also play a critical role in remaining mentally sharp. Research shows that believing in yourself is directly related to happiness. When you’re happy, your brain releases dopamine or the reward molecule that can strengthen your decision-making skills and memory recollection.
After all, if you believe you can improve yourself and put those beliefs into practice, you will have a better chance of keeping your mind sharp and healthy in the long run.