Can Memory Be Improved? | Iris Reading
Can Memory Be Improved?

Can Memory Be Improved?

Can Memory Be Improved?

You’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of ways to improve your memory.

To improve your memory, you should exercise, eat healthy food, and sleep well. But you should also take part in meditation and use brain-training applications to improve your memory skills. A healthy lifestyle and some training can help train your brain to retain memory. 

If you have ever forgotten important information for an examination or where you kept your keys, then you might have wished you had a better memory.

In the following post, we will discuss how you can improve your memory. 

So stick with us and read on.

Is it scientifically possible to improve memory?

You can improve your memory by following a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, high sugar, and high cholesterol foods, and exercising regularly.

According to scientific research, memory skills usually come down to our genes. 

Memory is one of the most important components of our brain. It shapes how we live our lives and move ahead. Many people claim that loss of memory skills and declining thinking are some of the top fears they experience when they age.

But mental exercise can help people maintain mental skills and memory even as they age. Effective mental exercises include volunteering, learning a new language, playing games such as chess, and participating in activities that challenge your brainpower.

A study found that even a few minutes of exercise can help improve memory. The study participants were asked to perform a light-intensity exercise for ten minutes. The researchers measured the participants’ brain activity using an MRI machine, and then they were asked to complete a memory test.

The test showed an improvement in the connection between the hippocampal and cortical brain areas. Although further studies are still required in the area, this research shows that an exercise of even ten minutes can help improve brain-area connectivity and, eventually, the memory skills of an individual.

When we try learning something, connections are formed inside the brain between the neurons. These are called synapses. The number of such connections made inside the brain is uncountable, with 100 billion nerve cells each forming 10,000 connections with other nerve cells.

These synapses can either get weak or strong depending upon the physical interactions of human beings. It is said that these connections become stronger when you are exposed to a good activity or exercise. The lesser you are exposed, the more difficult it can be to remember simple things.

If you don’t do anything to remember or consolidate the memory, your brain will not save it. The consolidation process involves retaining the long-term memory, which usually involves our brains recreating the same brain activity patterns that it created earlier to strengthen the synapses.

Most of this happens during sleep. If the memory is strengthened over time, it’s very easy to recall what you have remembered.

According to the researchers at John Hopkins, when mice are exposed to any disturbing or traumatic experience, the level of neuronal receptors inside their brain for glutamate increases synapses in the amygdala. Amygdala is the area inside the brain that deals with fear.

Accordingly, the increase in the synapses in the brain’s fear center develops fear with that particular memory. This also decreases the strength between the connections inside the brain. In this way, we can understand that memory is a complicated process, and there are actual ways to improve it.

Researchers have found various ways to improve memory, including diet, exercise, stress management, cognitive training, and psychopharmacology.

Ways to improve memory skills

There are various ways that one can follow to improve memory and learning skills. 

Some of these are described below:

1. Practise Meditation

By practicing meditation, you can regain focus and attention in your life, helping you retain long-term memory.

Everyday experiences create lots of memories and information for the brain to remember. From remembering someone’s name you just met in the market to paying attention in the classroom, your brain is always working to retain new memories.

If the memory is not useful, your brain will let go of it. However, if it’s something important such as the address of your home, then you would want to remember it forever.

This is why our working memory needs to be stronger. And one way to strengthen it is through meditation. 

According to researchers, practicing mindful meditation can improve your short-term memory and cognitive function.

Regular meditation helps increase the blood flow to the brain, which builds a stronger network of blood vessels, eventually improving memory capacity.  

Another study states that “Meditation training can enhance various cognitive processes, such as emotional regulation, executive control, and attention, particularly sustained attention.”

You can try different kinds of meditation to improve your memory skills. This includes mindfulness meditation, which involves a deep awareness of our emotions, sensations, and feelings.

Focusing on one subject at a time and feeling the present moment helps you gain focus. You can also try awareness meditation besides this.

Awareness meditation goes beyond mindful meditation, as it involves an increased self-awareness of our pain points, how our mind works, and what is bothering us. 

In this way, we can deal with challenges and make well-informed decisions.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleep and memory have been associated with each other for a long time. Various human and animal studies have shown that you can improve your memory and learning skills if you sleep soundly for at least 7 hours every night.

If you are sleep-deprived and, let’s say, sit in a mathematics classroom, you will find yourself unable to focus on what’s being taught. So, you won’t learn anything or retain the new information. This also happens when you haven’t slept well and try to study for exams.

Lack of sleep also affects a person’s ability to make sound decisions, judge situations, and plan accordingly. 

Exhaustion and fatigue because of less sleep can impair your judgment. This is because your neurons will not fire optimally, the muscles are not well-rested, and the body’s organ systems are unsynchronized.

On the other hand, sleeping is also a key process to help consolidate memory. 

Consolidation refers to the process by which memory becomes stable in the brain. Once it is stable, it becomes easier to recall the information that has been stored.

This is why you must sleep well, avoid a distracting environment and wake up on time.

3. Use brain-training apps and courses

Brain training apps, video games, and courses prove beneficial in improving the functions of various memory-associated regions in the brain. This also includes the semantic memory that involves the ability of the brain to recall the knowledge you learned.

A study called “Games people play: How video games improve probabilistic learning” suggests that there are various cognitive benefits for people who play video games. They can make better decisions, especially at times of uncertainty, and recall small details.

Another study suggests that brain training and memory applications can even reduce the chances of cognitive decline and dementia. This is why playing simple games such as find-a-word can be beneficial for training your brain.

Finally, you can take online courses designed and taught by experts to help you improve your memory. 

For instance, Iris Reading offers a full-fletch Maximizing Memory course that covers practical techniques for improving memory.

The course is useful for both professionals and students. It includes approximately 90 minutes of video-based content, showing what you can do to train your brain. You will even get a certificate when you complete the course.

Accordingly, the course is very useful in learning and practicing techniques that will go a long way in improving your memory skills.

4. Eat the right foods

You must incorporate the right food in your diet to help you boost the capacities of your brain. One of these is fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines – all of which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

The brain uses omega-3 fatty acids to build the nerve cells, which are eventually essential for memory and learning. Our brain itself is 60% made up of fat. And half of this fat is omega-3 fatty acids. 

In this way, fish is essential to reduce the chances of mental decline and problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee is another food that is known for supporting brain health. Believe it or not, the coffee you drink every morning benefits your brain.

Coffee can help increase your focus since it blocks adenosine, a chemical component in your body that makes you sleepy. Coffee also helps in improving your mood, which eventually makes you better at learning things.

A study has found that caffeine consumption can also improve your attention span in the short-term

In this way, drinking coffee, although in limited amounts only, can be a great way to boost your brain’s capacities and abilities.

Turmeric has also caught a lot of interest among scholars. This spice consists of Curcumin, which is known for crossing the barrier between the blood and brain. This means that it can enter the brain directly and benefit the cells present there.

Curcumin itself can help improve the memory of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It also boosts the mood by supporting the production of dopamine and serotonin.  

Other food items that can help improve your memory and learning skills include most vegetables and fruits such as broccoli and blueberry, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and egg.

Just as there are good foods for memory, some foods deteriorate your memory. You can check out the 10 worst foods for memory in this article.

5. Drinking alcohol moderately

If you drink way too many alcoholic beverages, then you can put your brain’s health at risk. This is because alcohol affects your memory and learning skills.

Many people across the world have a habit of binge drinking. This habit makes the person less aware of their surroundings and negatively impacts their health.

According to various studies, alcohol can even alter the brain’s memory and result in deficits. 

One of the studies involved 155 first-year college students who were asked to consume six or more alcoholic beverages in a very short time – usually consumed it monthly or weekly. 

The results showed that the teenagers experienced difficulties recalling things compared to students who never drank this frequently.

Such drinking also affects short-term memory because it slows down the communication between different nerves. These nerves are particularly present in the hippocampus, a crucial part of the brain that helps people retain memories. With the decrease in normal nerve activity, people can suffer from short-term memory loss.

People who drink heavily also eventually adopt a very bad lifestyle. They start to avoid a healthy diet and usually don’t exercise often. In this way, they miss out on important nutrients for their brain’s health. 

Drinking too much can also cause the person to vomit, which prevents the stomach from absorbing key nutrients.

Binge drinkers also don’t care about their health, so they don’t focus on improving their lifestyle. This may not sound like such a big problem at first. However, over time, this can damage the person’s health and cause long-term memory loss.

Alcohol has a neurotoxic impact on our brain. 

If the person continues to binge drink, they can even damage the important areas of the brain. 

This is why it’s recommended to drink moderate amounts only. It will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and protect your memory.

6. Exercise more frequently

Exercise is an important activity for those wanting to maintain their mental and physical health. Research shows that exercise is essential to retain memory in people of all ages.

One study involved 144 people ranging from ages 19 to 93. The researchers asked each of them to perform 15 minutes of moderate exercise using stationary bikes. 

At the end of the study, the researchers found that the participants improved their cognitive performance.

Exercise can cause physiological changes in your body, like reductions in insulin resistance and promoting growth factors such as more chemicals for new blood cells in the brain.

Some studies suggest that people who exercise have larger volume of thinking and memory areas in the brain than those who don’t.

Exercise can also indirectly benefit your memory. Those who exercise regularly experience better moods and even sleep well. In this way, they can reduce anxiety and stress – all the recurring problems that can result in cognitive impairment.

Although there is no research to suggest if one type of experience is better than another type of exercise for the brain, it is important to remember that exercise according to your lifestyle can be beneficial.

This is why many doctors and researchers recommend that people incorporate exercise as part of their lifestyles. 

You should aim to exercise at a moderate intensity with a motive to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Final thoughts

Our everyday lives depend upon the proper functioning of our brains. From remembering directions to your home and paying attention in the classroom to working for your job, you need memory and learning skills to perform well in every capacity of your life.

Scientific studies show that you can improve your memory skills. For instance, studies suggest that you should meditate to improve your attention and focus spans.

On the other hand, you should also sleep well, for at least seven hours. This is important because sleep deprivation can prevent you from focusing, making decisions, and remembering information.

It’s also best to eat well because some foods like fish have important nutrients that improve your health. Besides this, exercising can be a great part of your lifestyle, helping you build your physical health and improve your memory skills.

Besides this, you should also use brain-training apps and play video games to train your brain. 

You can also enroll in short online courses to study techniques for improving your memory. 

Iris reading offers a 90-minute long Maximizing Memory video-based course.

Head over to Iris reading today and enroll in our flagship course.

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