Understanding the brain’s capacity for memory is the first step into really knowing whether or not you can improve your memory. To put it in simple terms, if your brain was a DVR, it would be able to hold approximately 3 million hours of TV shows (study). So you may be asking – if our memory capacity is so great, why do we forget things? The answer is trained vs untrained memory. Here are 4 techniques you can use to train your memory.
During exercise your brain releases a protein (BDNF) which triggers other chemicals that promote neural health, cognitive functions and learning. Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain as well. People who exercise regularly will do better on mental acuity, focus and memory tests.
Eat the Right Foods
Think of your brain as a very powerful engine that needs high quality fuel to function well. Some top memory foods are avocado, berries of all kinds, coconut oil, cold-water fatty fish, dark chocolate, eggs, fermented foods, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, sea vegetables,and walnuts. Since your brain is 73% water, it needs to stay hydrated to function properly. It only takes 2% dehydration to reduce your memory, attention and other cognitive skills.
Get Enough Sleep
A rested brain is a clear, alert brain which allows us to learn, focus and remember information. Getting good sleep allows us to take in information as we go through our day. Sleep also helps memory in the long term because it triggers changes in the brain that solidify memories – strengthening connections between brain cells and transferring information from one part of the brain to another.
Put Your Brain to Work
Stimulating the brain with new and surprising information keeps it from deteriorating. Also engaging in purposeful and meaningful activities stimulates the neurological system, counters the effects of stress related diseases, decreases risk for dementia and enhances health and well-being. The key is finding an activity to truly stimulates your brain and keeps you engaged – for example learning an instrument, arts and crafts, gardening, brain games and puzzles.
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