There’s constant pressure on us every day to be better, faster, smarter and quicker than our peers. We are constantly required to take on more information and to build on our abilities – and part of being successful in society involves having good brainpower and memory. So how does memory work, and how can you improve your memory and brainpower? Let’s take a look.
How does memory work? First of all, you create a memory based on stimuli. When you encounter something, your brain sends signals in a particular way that creates a connection between our neurons which are called synapses. After this, if you don’t do anything else in your head, the memory falls right out of our brain. Thankfully, our minds are hardwired to recall a vast amount of information, and so when you sleep, your brain recreates the same patterns of brain activity in order to strengthen the synaptic connection that you had earlier when confronted with the initial stimuli. After this, you recall the memory when you talk about the memory and think about it, and every time you recall the memory, it strengthens the connection in your brain. You can also have triggers that help you to recall the memory, whether it’s a smell, a sound or a particular visual cue.
So how do you strengthen the ability of the mind to recall memories? While it’s a normal part of aging that your brain gets a bit slower, there are things that you can do. Let’s take a look.
1. Meditate to improve your working memory
Your working memory is kind of like a sketchpad for your brain, and it’s where potential new memories are held temporarily. When you meet a new person or hear a phone number or address to recall, you hang on to these details until you’re done with them. If they’re not useful pieces of information, you let go of them and if they are useful, you commit them to your long term memory for later. You can strengthen the ability of your mind to recall certain pieces of information with mindfulness meditation and studies have shown that it helps us to concentrate more and to recall memory after just two weeks.
2. Drink coffee
Much of the research done in the past has found little-to-no effect with coffee consumption in creating and enhancing memory, with the exception of a recent study which found that taking a caffeine pill actually helped with memory recall up to 24 hours later. The research in this study found that effects of caffeine helped with memory consolidation when ingested after the task, as opposed to before.
3. Snack on berries
A diet-related study that was performed on consuming berries found that eating them can help to ward off potential memory decline, and the results found that the effect on memory began three weeks into the study and continued for the length of the study.
4. Get enough sleep
A huge part of your ability to recall things and to think quickly is ensuring that you get enough sleep. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, perhaps you should invest in a quality mattress to ensure that it’s helping you achieve the optimal amount of rest.
Studies that have been performed on both humans and rats have shown that regular exercise can help to improve the recall of memory, and keeping fit as an older person will help with memory decline, too.
I hope that these hints will help you to stave off the effects of aging when it comes to your mind, and keeping sharp. Don’t forget to stay active and to keep fit and healthy, and you’ll be fine.