As people move back into their normal fall routines of work and school, I am often asked about ways to improve memory or concentration.
Now that summer is over we have a expectation of being more productive, helping ourselves and our families to get back to the normal schedule. Improving our memory can be a great asset.
If you are concerned about memory loss and you have a history of Alzheimer’s or dementia in your family, it is important to talk with your doctor and have appropriate symptom evaluation and testing for appropriate diagnosis.
If you are just feeling scattered or overwhelmed, implementing a few basic consistent behaviors may improve your memory and focus.
Always start with the basics.
Are you getting enough sleep, are you eating at least 3 meals a day, are you exercising regularly and do you take time out to relax? When you get at least six to eight hours of sleep every night you can think more clearly and you remember better.
Eating a healthy diet can help create better memory. Focus on eating whole foods and drinking water, and reduce excess alcohol consumption.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, in addition to reducing the existence of developing depression. Doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week is recommended. Even 5 to 10 minutes every day will help.
Relaxation techniques have been shown to help improve memory.
Once you have the basics covered, here are a few other activities that help to improve memory:
- Keep your mind active with new activities or games.
- Take on a new challenge or project that makes you think in new ways.
- Social interactions help to ward off depression and stress, so find a way to connect with others on a consistent basis.
- Get organized! Clean up your desk or personal space, get a calendar. Put your things, and make note of your events, in places where it's easier to remember them.
- Do one thing at a time. When you do too many things at once your brain can convert ideas from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.
- Many people have memory problems due to their lifestyles and not because of health reasons.