Do you ever feel like your memory isn’t what it used to be? Do you find it irritating that you can remember all the words to a song you haven’t heard in 10 years, but can’t seem to think of the reason why you just walked into your bedroom?
Memory problems can be discouraging, but there are some simple ways to improve short-term memory. Learning new facts, regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding environmental toxins and stress reduction are several ways to improve recall.
Improve Memory Problems With a Happy Hippocampus
The hippocampus is located in the temporal lobes of your brain. It is the entry point through which new memories must pass in order to become permanently stored. When the hippocampus is damaged, old memories may still easily be brought to mind, but new memories are not able to be formed.
1. Keep Your Memory Sharp With Regular Exercise
It is a proven fact that those who are over 40 years old and exercise regularly tend to be sharper mentally than those who do not. Exercise increases nitric oxide levels, which keep blood vessels open and round. This improves circulation and oxygen transport to the brain. Exercise also protects the hippocampus during high-stress situations, protecting the memory center of the brain.
2. Reduce Memory Problems by Reducing Stress
Stress can bring on high levels of cortisol, which is secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is an important hormone that performs a variety of important functions, but long periods of high cortisol levels can cause a wide range of health problems.
High cortisol levels have been found to shrink and destroy cells in the hippocampus. This prevents new memories from being stored, and may impair your ability to access old memories.
3. Enhance Your Memory with Food
The diet you eat has a profound impact on brain function. Sugar, junk food and caffeine have all been found to have a negative impact on memory; increasing inflammation, reducing blood flow to the brain and slowing down hippocampal neurogenesis (the generation of new neurons). Foods rich in B12, flavonoids, choline, Omega-3 fatty acids and minerals like zinc and iron improve memory, which can be found in primal foods like red meat, chicken, eggs, sunflower seeds, berries, salmon and low-starch vegetables.
4. Have Better Memory by Living Green
Many of the chemicals found in your common every day products like pesticides, heavy metals, plastic, dryer exhaust, air fresheners, cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, etc. can impair the hippocampus, neurons and neurotransmitters in the brain, thus diminishing your ability to recall and other brain functions. You can significantly reduce your exposure to environmental toxins by eating organic and living a green lifestyle.
5. Improve Your Short-Term Memory by Learning
Neurons are the information processors of your brain. As you learn new things, those neurons keep firing.
Neurons use trillions of connections, called synapses, to pass information to one another throughout your brain. If you don’t use your synapses, they may whither and die. On the other hand, as you continue to learn, synapses are strengthened or new connections are formed.
When you learn new information, explain what you’ve learned to another person. This helps to preserve your new knowledge for future recall.
A keen memory is a valuable tool that can be harnessed with a few simple habits. The ability to remember why you just walked into your bedroom is within your grasp! Get regular exercise, reduce stress, eat the right foods, live green and learn something new each day to keep your short-term memory active and sharp.