18 tips you can use to work on brain improvement
This blog post talks about memory improvement tips you absolutely need if you want to work on your mental fitness.
Let’s talk about the human brain. Your brain is about the size of a large grapefruit and weighs about 1.4 kilograms. It has approximately 100 billion neurons, or nerve cells, that form an extremely complex network. Only one neuron can be linked to 100,000 others.
Such connections help the brain process and store information. The problem is determining how to obtain this information from the brainstem if it’s required. The truth is that most people remember far more than they believe.
The market for brain-stimulating supplements is insane and rapidly expanding. People are increasingly turning to supplements to improve their memory.
However, there have been no significant studies on food supplements that demonstrate that they work as advertised. So, what should you do? In fact, you can stimulate your own brain.
What exactly is memory? Memory can be defined as a mental activity that allows you to recall information and data that you have previously received or experienced. You would react every time as if it were the first time you were confronted with such a situation if you didn’t have a memory.
When your memory lets you down, it’s usually because of the limited amount of working memory. It is a short-term memory that can remember two or three things in about half a minute. Things will be moved into long-term memory only when you repeat them several times.
In most cases, people have perfectly normal memories, but nowadays, our working memory is heavily overburdened. Because we only have two hands, it’s understandable that we can’t carry ten heavy bags at once.
However, if you can’t remember ten things at once, you blame your memory. It makes no difference how old you are when it comes to improving your memory, because it’s never too late to take care of it.
Improving your memory is entirely within your control. Without further ado, let’s talk about my favorite activities to stimulate the brain.
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Let’s talk about what you can do to improve your memory
1. Be prepared
Being prepared plays a huge role in brain improvement. Have you ever wondered what it is about names that no one ever remembers them? There’s a very simple explanation: You weren’t prepared to receive new information at that time.
The name is the first thing people say in the introduction, but our consciousness is preoccupied with something far more important at the time—survival.
Primary instincts prevent us from immediately focusing on the story this new person is telling us because our consciousness must first ensure that this person isn’t dangerous to us.
We analyze their attitude, appearance, and behavior, and by the time the brain has finished and is ready to listen, it’s too late. The ability to focus and remember new information is heavily dependent on readiness.
Prepare your mind if you know you’ll be in a situation where you’ll need to listen and focus. Tell yourself and your thoughts to stop next time, and try to focus consciously.
2. Set proper goals
Every day, we have more than 6,000 thoughts. And roughly 70% of them are negative thoughts, which most of us aren’t even aware of. Internal irritants such as restlessness, anxiety, or expectation, as well as external irritants such as noise and other people, all have an impact on your presence.
Although open offices are popular today, they’re not ideal for tasks requiring concentration. You may appear to be completely focused, but you’re subconsciously listening to and analyzing the people around you.
Again, there’s a logical explanation for this: we simply need to know that we’re not endangered by the environment, and this can only be ensured if you listen with one ear to what’s going on around you.
You’re extremely tired by the end of your workday because, in addition to doing work, you’ve spent the entire day perceiving danger and analyzing the external environment.
One way to be present and focused is to set goals. Motivation is 80% about your why and only 20% about your how. If you’re faced with a task that requires your full focus and attention, you should try to figure out why you’re doing it and how it’ll benefit you.
Our attention is determined by our interests, and if we know why we sit here and do something, we’re more motivated to do it.
3. Take a break
Acquiring new knowledge happens during breaks. You can sit through a lecture for several hours, but you’ll actually acquire the information during a 10-minute coffee break.
Our minds are weaker than our bodies. If physical fatigue takes 90 minutes to occur, then mental fatigue can occur in as little as 15-20 minutes. Therefore, feel free to take a break from your work from time to time.
Memory requires rest, a period of time when there’s no need to remember or recall anything. The more you use your memory, the more you need to take short breaks to allow your brain to learn new things.
If you want to really make use of these memory improvement tips, then keep in mind that one day off a week is insufficient. You must take breaks throughout the day. Simply look out the window and allow your brain to rest.
Talk to your coworkers and agree not to discuss work during the lunch break. You can use all of your commutes to work and home to recover: read a good book on the bus or simply gaze out the window and let your thoughts wander.
4. Good sleep
The best thing you can do for your memory is to get enough sleep every night, not just before important exams or job interviews. Adequate sleep allows you to perform better, improve your memory, and reduce stress and fatigue.
During sleep, your brain converts information from short-term memory to long-term memory, as well as processes and stores newly acquired information. This makes remembering what you’ve learned much easier.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your creativity suffers, as does your ability to solve problems and respond to critical situations. As a result, it’s necessary to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per day.
An insufficient night’s sleep weakens memory. Another useful tip is to take a nap every now and then. An hour’s nap in the middle of the day stimulates the brain far more than two cups of espresso.
5. One thought at a time
We may believe we’re skilled at multitasking, but the reality is that you can’t do everything at once. You can’t divide your attention because you can’t direct your consciousness to two thoughts at the same time.
Try to sing and think about what you need from the store at the same time. How did it go? Keeping your attention requires practice, and it’s difficult to focus when you’re constantly losing track.
Thinking one thought at a time is an essential part of mind fitness. It’ll be much easier to focus if your action plan is clear, logical, and acceptable. Plan what you will do and in what order you will do it for the next task, and then see how well you can focus.
6. Proper nutrition
The brain is a vital organ that requires a diverse range of nutrients to function properly. Nutrition, regardless of age, is important for mental fitness and memory support. Several studies have found that eating a healthy diet helps reduce the risk of memory problems.
Think with a fork, not with a pill. Don’t get me wrong: vitamins and minerals aren’t bad, but I prefer to get them from actually eating foods.
Eat wisely. Don’t eat too little—starvation affects your brain and nervous system as a whole. Overeating strains the gastrointestinal tract, and, as a result, the blood supply to the brain suffers.
Select foods that promote brain activity and memory. Fatty marine fish, for example, such as salmon, sardines, and herring, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for normal brain function.
Bananas, prunes, sunflower seeds, almonds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, and legumes contain B vitamins, which stimulate the brain. A lack of B vitamins can cause problems with your nervous system.
Vitamin B5 supports memory, especially when combined with choline or vitamin B4. B vitamins are essential for brain function because they help to convert glucose into energy, preventing fatigue and mood swings.
The most important thing, however, is to eat a balanced diet: eat breakfast, eat at least five handfuls of fruits and vegetables per day, and eat less salty and fatty foods.
Avoid alcoholic beverages because they affect the nervous system’s abilities. Alcohol has a negative impact on short-term memory, and alcoholism can lead to thiamine or vitamin B1 deficiency, but thiamine is required for memory.
Quit smoking because it reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. Nonsmokers are almost two times less likely than smokers to have significant memory impairment in old age.
Nuts and seeds are also good for your heart and brain. Walnuts have been linked to brain health and are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid that the body requires for normal memory function.
Wild berries, particularly blueberries, are high in anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are linked to improved perception and memory function.
Blueberry is a potent antioxidant that boosts the immune system and helps prevent age-related memory problems. Strawberries and cranberries also help to promote memory and coordination.
Furthermore, it’s beneficial to consume green tea, green leafy vegetables, and a moderate amount of coffee. A cup of coffee is especially beneficial before facing a greater mental effort, such as taking an exam. Caffeine improves short-term memory and reaction time.
Cutting back on sugar is only good for your health.
According to studies, people who consume a lot of sugar on a regular basis have poorer memories and less brain volume than those who consume less sugar. Reducing your daily sugar intake not only improves your memory but also your overall health.
Drink organic tea. The Chinese have long believed that drinking green tea is good for memory. Scientists have now discovered the origins of this belief. Green tea contains a high concentration of epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), a natural chemical that is a powerful antioxidant.
According to one study, EGCG can help prevent age-related degenerative diseases by improving cognitive function and memory. Three cups of organic green tea per day is an excellent way to improve your memory.
7. Train your body and mind regularly
Exercise stimulates and strengthens nerve cells, thereby assisting the brain’s work. Regular exercise has been shown to improve the blood supply to the brain as well as the ability to learn. Exercise is critical for both physical and mental health.
Developing healthy habits may appear to be nearly impossible at first, but with regular training, the body quickly adapts, and as a routine develops, things become easier. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym to accomplish the impossible.
The important thing is that you move your body by doing an activity that raises your heart rate. You can do it for 30 minutes five times a week, and it will have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi, and other similar exercises are very good if you’re just starting out.
I personally love lighter workouts, and I use these affordable resistance bands to do some light exercise every other day.
8. Drink enough water
A sufficient supply of water is essential for the entire organism, but especially for the central nervous system. According to research, a lack of water can severely impair brain function, particularly concentration and short-term memory.
You’re more likely to have headaches, a bad mood, and fatigue if you’re dehydrated. Dehydration causes the brain to work slower, and mental tasks appear more complex and require more effort. Drink plenty of clean water, as it’s one of the easiest activities to stimulate the brain.
9. Reduce stress
At first, this seems like one of those memory improvement tips that’s easy to recommend but difficult to do. However, there are many activities that relieve stress and help to overcome it: yoga, meditation, various relaxation techniques, saunas, water treatments, and walks in nature.
Chronic stress physically damages the brain and results in a reduced ability to remember. The best thing you can do to keep your brain in shape is to try to limit or at least relieve stress with relaxing exercises, yoga, etc.
10. Write down your problems
Worrying uses up short-term memory space. If you think about a problem all the time, it will take up space in your short-term memory. If your worries are interfering with your sleep, grab a piece of paper and a pencil and start writing them down.
Also, make a list of everything you need to remember. Then you don’t have to think about them anymore, but you can let them go and look them up later if necessary.
11. Avoid interruptions
Being interrupted on a regular basis loads the working memory. It always takes time to refocus after a break. That’s something to keep in mind when you want to improve your brain fitness.
To avoid unnecessary interruptions, establish ground rules in the workplace. You can, for example, agree that everyone does their job in the morning and that you will discuss and decide on common issues in the afternoon.
You can also use headphones to signal to others that you don’t want to be bothered right now. These noise-canceling headphones from Bose are awesome for that.
12. Repeat and write down
If you want to learn something new, you must do it on a regular basis and for a short period of time at a time. Repeating something only a few times won’t help you remember what you need to remember.
Our memory has evolved to the point where we believe that if you don’t repeat something, you don’t need to remember it. The more you repeat something, the better you’ll remember it.
You can improve your memory by using various reminders. Attach a piece of paper to the front door if you need to remember something before leaving the house. You can write unfamiliar words on paper and repeat them at any time when learning a new language.
However, in order to remember things better, you must first learn three basic tips. First and foremost, concentrate. Second, make a connection with the new information, and third, repeat it on a regular basis.
13. Go dancing regularly
Even 30 minutes of exercise per day activates the brain and protects memory. Any movement is beneficial to the brain and memory, but studies have shown that dancing is especially beneficial. That’s why it’s also among my favorite activities to stimulate the brain.
Because you have to listen to the music, catch the rhythm, and think about the steps all at the same time, it really exercises the brain. Dancing also encourages pleasant social interaction and creates positive emotions.
Unfortunately, our brains are wired to focus on the negative side of things, so negative events have a greater impact on us than positive ones. This is referred to as “negative prejudice.”
Such behavior was once necessary for survival because those who paid more attention to bad situations were more likely to survive.
Negative information increases brain activity in a critical information processing area, so bad news, experiences, and information have a significant impact on our behavior and mood.
You can control your behavior and thoughts by being aware of negative prejudice. Meditation assists in relaxing, reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and thus improving memory.
With the help of meditation, it’s possible to focus on the positive or to shift from a negative to a positive state.
15. Sing and play some instrument
Music plays a huge role in brain improvement because it stimulates the areas of movement, vision, touch, and emotion. An activated brain remembers better and is more resistant to illnesses.
Singing or playing an instrument yourself is especially beneficial to the brain. Rhythm also helps with learning new languages. The more places the brain can rely on for learning, the easier it is for new information to be stored in memory.
Try learning math or physics rules by making them into a rap song or poem with a rhythm that will help you remember them. Your favorite music can help you remember things by evoking positive emotions.
16. Sort your emails
Emails cause a flood of information because we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and messages. Set your own guidelines for how frequently you check your emails during the workday.
Create folders to distribute messages to, such as instant reply, postponed, spam, and others. Check that you haven’t missed anything by going through the necessary folders before the end of the working day.
17. Learn to forget
From the perspective of brain health, it’s also important to forget. 90 percent of the information you receive is forgotten within the first nine hours if you don’t use it. But how do you ever forget the information that’s actively stored in your brain?
One method is to block unnecessary information—as soon as you remember it, think of something else, forcibly create a new connection, and consciously switch to a new idea.
As a result, after 1-2 months, you’ll notice that painful emotions are no longer present. That’s one of the greatest memory improvement tips for sure.
Be thankful that you have the ability to forget. Think about how different your life would be if you remembered everything, both important and unimportant. Wouldn’t there be a lot of confusion in your head?
18. Train your memory
We have all heard the saying “Repetition is the mother of learning,” and that’s the way it is. Memory training is the most effective way to increase cognitive skills and work on your mental fitness.
There are numerous amazing opportunities for brain training, including puzzles and strategy games, crossword puzzles or sudoku, board games or word memory games, and learning new skills (e.g., playing a musical instrument).
The brain is like a muscle: if you don’t exercise it, it will shrink. Memory is divided into three types: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
Sensory memory is a type of memory that receives information through sensations such as smell, sight, and touch. Short-term memory stores small amounts of information for a brief period of time.
This allows us to remember numbers so that we don’t forget long phone numbers when dialing, and it also allows us to remember the first half of a sentence while reading or listening to the second half.
However, as we all know, short-term memory has its limitations. If you want to keep information for a long time, it must be stored in long-term memory. However, how do you get it there? The following information may be useful.
Interest. Be interested in those topics, and remember why you’re studying them. As experience has shown, when feelings are involved, the things you learn are stored better.
Attention. Most of the time, our memory fails us because we didn’t pay enough attention to something at the time. What helps you focus more effectively?
Show an interest in the subject and, if possible, take notes. Taking notes not only helps you focus better but also allows you to later repeat what you’ve learned.
Organizing your materials. Sort similar and related ideas into categories. For example, categorizing foods as meat products, vegetables, fruits, and so on makes it easier to remember a shopping list.
You can also divide the information into smaller units. This is why breaking phone numbers into two parts makes them easier to remember. Finally, you can arrange your lists in any order you want, such as alphabetically.
Repeating things out loud. Repeating what you want to remember aloud (for example, words or phrases in a foreign language) strengthens neural connections.
How? For starters, saying the word forces you to concentrate. Secondly, even if you’re listening to yourself, you’re activating other parts of your brain.
Visualization. Create a picture of what you want to remember in front of your eyes. Or draw a picture on paper. Visualization, like voice repetition, helps to activate various parts of the brain. The more senses you involve, the deeper the information will be attached.
Linking. When you learn something new, connect it to something you already know. Linking new ideas to what has already been saved makes them easier to save and recall; pairing acts as a hint.
To remember someone’s name, for example, associate it with an outstanding feature of that person’s appearance or with something else that helps you remember their name. The more amusing or absurd the connection, the easier it is to remember something.
These were 18 easy memory improvement tips that really work
Do you have any additional memory improvement tips I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know!
I’m a personal growth and self-care expert, as well as an avid motorcycle enthusiast and coffee and sweets lover. Through Lauraconteuse, I provide insightful and practical advice on topics such as self-care, self-love, personal growth, and productivity, drawing from my very own extensive experience and knowledge in the field. My blog has helped countless people achieve their goals and live more fulfilling lives, and my goal is to continue to inspire and empower others.