If you’ve ever forgotten something important, then you know how frustrating it is. Most people associate memory loss with aging, but the truth is that most people could benefit from consciously improving their working memory, ability to focus, and overall cognitive performance.
Daily practice can help you improve your ability to recall details and manage your daily responsibilities. Training your brain for enhanced memory in focus will allow you to fully engage in life, become more productive, and stay “sharp.” Here are some tips for improving your cognition.
Pay Attention to Your Diet & Exercise Routine
Diet is an important factor in cognitive performance and making sure you’re getting the right nutrients is key for improving memory and focus. A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, fish, nuts, berries, and even coffee and tea can improve your memory and help you function at your peak. Fuel your brain (and your body!) the right way to stay mentally fit.
You should also get outside or to the gym and exercise regularly. Exercise has countless benefits, with cognitive performance being one of them. Research indicates that people who exercise regularly develop a larger hippocampus, which affects memory.
Play Memory Games
Your brain needs exercise, just like your body. Committing to daily brain teasers and memory games is a great way to stay sharp as you get older. Something as simple as writing down ten words and then doing something else before trying to remember the words you wrote down is a simple, yet effective way to keep your brain “in shape.”
Brain games don’t have to take up a lot of time, but you should do them consistently. They can also be a lot of fun—jigsaw puzzles, the daily crossword, Sudoku are all fantastic brain exercises. Try keeping a book of puzzles next to the couch and tackle one each day.
You can also boost your brainpower by learning a new skill or improving an existing one. Your cognitive function will begin to deteriorate over time if you don’t challenge your brain with novel experiences. Even simply listening to music or exploring an unfamiliar environment can help!
Take Up Meditation and Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Although it’s important to challenge your brain, it’s just as important to let it rest. Workaholics take note: you need to step back and relax if you want to operate at your peak level of performance.
Meditation is a great daily habit for improving focus and memory. You can do it anywhere you can find a quiet space, and even just a few minutes can be beneficial. Yoga and Tai Chi can also be beneficial for your mental wellness and performance.
You should also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep improves memory and is essential for focus, mood, and general health and well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to find out why so you can make adjustments and get more rest.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
Social interactions could help keep you sharp well into your old age. People who enjoy regular social interaction are less likely to develop dementia and perform better on cognitive tasks. If you don’t have friends or family nearby, look into community activities, or try video chatting with a loved one. Staying social could help you live a longer, happier life!
About the Author
Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.