Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.
While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.
Here are 4 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
- Make Time for Meditation
The practice of meditation may positively affect your health in many ways.
It is relaxing and soothing, and has been found to reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory.
In fact, meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies.
As you age, gray matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition.
Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from people in their 20s to the elderly.
Meditation isn’t just good for your body — it’s also good for your brain. Research suggests meditation may increase gray matter in the brain and improve spatial working memory.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition.
Several studies have established obesity as a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Interestingly, being obese can actually cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory.
Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and cognitive function. Obesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline. Maintaining a body mass index within the normal range may help you avoid a host of issues associated with obesity, including a poorer memory.
- Get Enough Sleep
Lack of proper sleep has been associated with poor memory for quite some time. Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories.
Research shows that if you are sleep deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.
Health experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health.
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus on your present situation, maintaining awareness of your surroundings and feelings.
Mindfulness is used in meditation, but the two aren’t one and the same. Meditation is a more formal practice, whereas mindfulness is a mental habit you can use in any situation.
Studies have shown that mindfulness is effective at lowering stress and improving concentration and memory. Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine by paying more attention to your present situation, concentrating on your breathing and gently resetting your attention when your mind wanders.
Practicing mindfulness techniques has been associated with increased memory performance. Mindfulness is also linked to reduced age-related cognitive decline.