We all know how frustrating it can be to walk into a room in a rush, before promptly forgetting why you’re there!
Perhaps you’ve arrived at the supermarket and have no idea what it was that you really needed? Or searched everywhere for something, only to find it right where you left it shortly before?
While forgetfulness is undoubtedly part of human nature, there are some handy tricks to keep your brain active and prevent memory loss as much as possible.
While eating healthily, exercising, and not smoking have all been proven to help protect the memory, there are also simple tricks you can use to keep your memory sharp.
It’s easy to forget the brain is a muscle, just like your arms and legs, so working it regularly will strengthen it.
A great way to do this is to take up a new hobby or skill. Putting your mind to something completely different can exercise new brain cells, and keep you thinking.
An example could be a board game or even a new musical instrument, ensuring you enjoy what you’re doing too. Another way is to take on brain teasers, which can easily be found over the internet. Just taking 20 minutes out of your day to try them out will ensure you’re constantly working your brain cells.
As with almost anything, exercising and eating healthy foods help you out – and studies have shown a good diet really can improve memory.
Some foods to stock up on include avocados, blueberries and other fruits – known as ‘brain food’. Nuts and fish are great to snack on, while vegetables such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, and celery also help.
It’s important to keep your diet balanced, and while there’s no need to give up the alcohol, it’s wise to cut it down if you’re worried about memory loss. Carbs, artificial sweeteners and saturated fats also have a negative effect on your brain power so cut them down too wherever possible.
Meanwhile, more surprisingly, a new study has found that turmeric is a win-win spice. Not only is it a really useful ingredient, but it may also stimulate your brain due to an antioxidant it contains called curcumin.
It may seem simple, but humans need on average eight hours of sleep a night to maintain physical and mental health.
Studies have shown after sleep, people tend to retain memories for longer and be more alert, while performing better in memory tests. A study has shown that people who slept between sessions in a memory test could remember 10-16 words, while those who didn’t sleep only remembered an average of 7.5.
You may have heard the hype about meditation and yoga, but it seems there’s some serious truth behind it.
It’s claimed that over time, stress destroys brain cells, damages the hippocampus, and is linked with memory loss – so kicking back and relaxing is crucial.
Even if meditation isn’t your think, simply listening to music is a good option, as long as it allows your brain to ‘switch off’ and your body to relax.
This is an interesting one – if you need to remember something and don’t have a pen or paper handy to note it down, clench your fists.
Studies show that if you are right-handed, you should make a fist with your right hand before you try to memorise something. Then when you need to remember it, clench your left hand (reverse for left-handed people).
Something as simple as ensuring you have a shopping list on hand, or a few notes of crucial things you need to remember, can ensure you’re never caught out. Little notes each day help you to remember key information, almost like revising for an exam.
Alternatively, visualising a certain image can jog your memory. By attaching an obscure image to something you need to remember, it can make it easier to think of it in the future.