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7 tips for improving your memory

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We are all creatures of habit to some degree.  We keep our keys and sunglasses in certain places so that we don't have to look for them. We file e-mails and documents in specific folders. We prepare shopping lists.  We handle the simplest tasks without thinking, such as brushing our teeth before going to bed at night, walking the dog after dinner, and cleaning the bathrooms every Friday morning.

We set our digital recording device so that we never miss our favourite television show and we take out a subscription to the EuroMillions lottery so that we never miss a draw.  By following a set routine, we make sure to get everything done. Still, we end up forgetting things, and we don't always remember what it is we've forgotten. Clearly we are in need of tips to improve our memory.

Below are seven tips to help you improve your memory.

Break your routine

If you are in the habit of using a GPS device when you drive, consider turning it off as it puts you on autopilot. Modern technology frequently makes us mentally lazy so challenge your brain cells by finding your way manually.

Write things down

These days, we can easily jot down notes in our smart phone and tablet. Posting reminders on Post-it notes is also effective, but nothing beats the physical act of writing something down on a piece of paper. If you’re afraid that you will forget something in the morning, write yourself a note before you go to bed.

Eat nutritious foods

Just as a proper diet will keep your body in shape, certain food items will give your brainpower a boost. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants geared to protect your brain cells from damage. Berries of all kinds, green leafy vegetables, cold-water fatty fish, dark chocolate, avocados, eggs, walnuts, and green tea are particularly beneficial.

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Get more exercise

Go outdoors, breathe some fresh air, and get your body in motion. Exercise gets the blood moving and stimulates nerve cells to multiply.  Not only does exercise keep your outer appearance in great shape, but it’s important for everything inside your body too.  Even walking helps build a bigger and sharper brain.

Get more sleep

Sleep is as important to our health as regular exercise and proper nutrition. The benefits of getting enough sleep include strengthening the connections between our brain cells. During sleep the brain refreshes itself by consolidating memories and washing out toxic debris. Better sleep habits will lead to better memory abilities.

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Exercise your mind

The brain is not a muscle, but it behaves as one, and exercise serves to make it stronger. Mind exercises can include meditation, reading, playing the piano, playing chess, and even learning a new language. Keeping your brain active will make it easier to process memories.

Stay healthy

It probably goes without saying but losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding sugar, and drinking alcohol and caffeine in moderation are all essential to staying healthy. When our bodies are healthy, our brains are healthy too. And that means improved memory.