Mind & Body
Memory Muscle! Ways To Keep Your Brain Sharp
That fear of getting older can bleed into so many different areas of our life. We can feel that we get weaker physically, emotionally, and mentally. With so much information out there about dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s unsurprising that we all fear that grim specter of age-related cognitive decline. But, much like using your muscles, it’s all about exercising them. Keeping your brain sharp doesn’t have to be a difficult thing, nor does it require much effort. If you think you have some memory issues, it’s all about the functions of the brain. But this means all we need to do is undertake various strategies to protect, as well as sharpen our brain. Here are some things you can try.
Brain Training Games
A few years ago, there was quite a trend with brain training games, appearing to be a fantastic way to keep your mind young. It’s not just brain training games exclusively, and in fact, almost any video game can do wonders for the malleability of your mind. If you pick the right game you can challenge your spatial awareness, cognitive ability, and working memory. And all you’ve got to do is choose a game you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be Tetris; in fact, there are plenty of driving games that can improve your reaction time. Playing games is a majorly underrated method. And now, so many people talk about how bad video games are; if you don’t exercise your brain at all, this is better than doing nothing!
Using Your Senses
When learning something, the more senses you use, the more your brain will be involved in keeping those memories onboard. When you think about this in a literal sense, a smell or a sound can automatically transport you back to a certain period of time. When you are trying to learn things, you want to remember a specific experience, don’t just focus on one sense; try as many as possible. For example, when in a restaurant, smell and taste a new dish, and attempt to guess the ingredients. It’s all about being mindful and being active. The more present you are in any given situation, the more you will remember.
Keep Your Brain Active
In one respect, if you don’t use it, you lose it! For many of us who have really challenging jobs, there is nothing we like doing more in the evening than sitting down in front of mindless television, not thinking at all. It all depends on the job you have. Once you get into a routine with the job you do, your brain starts to rest on its laurels somewhat. It’s all about your brain’s neuroplasticity, altering and stimulating the connections between neurons. You can do this by pursuing a new hobby. Think about what you want to do, such as reading a book, learning a game like chess, or taking a class. Lifelong learning is one of those great skills, and by developing your rich tapestry, you are effortlessly improving your brain.
There are plenty of brain hacks out there, but if you really struggle to remember facts and figures, especially when you need to, you need to think about the right hack for you. Repetition is a great way to reinforce a memory. Saying something out loud, or writing it down is, again, connecting different senses. By telling yourself out loud where something is, you stand a better chance of remembering it. It’s that trick when you meet someone, and you can’t remember their name- continue to say their name in conversation until it is solidified in the brain. There are other approaches, like the memory palace and mnemonics that can work wonders as well.
And, if you are trying everything under the sun, but you still feel you are struggling somewhat, are you exerting too much mental energy? Are you eating the right diet? Or are you very negative in terms of your memory? When we tell ourselves that we have a bad memory, unsurprisingly, our brain, which is unable to tell the difference between what is real and what is fantasized, makes this a reality. It is not about believing in yourself as it is finding the right tricks. These days, we are pressured to multitask, being on our phones, while speaking to someone else in person, and doing a million other things. It’s also important to keep everything simple, and economical, so your brain has a better chance of remembering things. If you are someone who worries about their brain declining, perhaps you’re over thinking it?