In this digital era, it is too easy for us to forget memories because many of us can find things we forgot on the internet. As unimportant as it sounds, memorizing is an activity that is actually important for many reasons, not just to take quizzes. For some people, memorizing helps “discipline” the mind so they can be more focused and productive. Keep in mind that what you store in memory also regulates the way you think about things, and helps you grasp concepts more quickly. By reducing stress, improving the quality of your diet, and changing your mindset, you can improve your memory.
Part 1 of 3: Reducing Stress
Step 1. Try to meditate every day
Meditation done for 15-30 minutes every day can physically change your brain so that the worries you feel can subside. You can also be more rational and empathetic. In addition, research shows that meditation can improve concentration and improve sleep quality.
- The four best times to meditate are in the morning, whenever you're feeling stressed, during your lunch break, and after work ends.
- It is not recommended to meditate at night before going to bed because you can feel relaxed until you fall asleep. When meditating, you have to make sure that you are physically awake.
Step 2. Do yoga
In addition to increasing the strength and flexibility of the body, yoga can also have a positive impact on the brain. Research shows that in addition to easing stress, anxiety, and depression, yoga protects the brain and shrinks, as you age.
- Interestingly, yoga prevents brain shrinkage, especially in the left hemisphere, which is associated with positive emotions, such as joy and happiness.
- Like meditation, yoga helps you to be more alert or have full "awareness" in carrying out daily activities.
Step 3. Exercise regularly
Research shows that exercise helps balance the cognitive decline caused by aging and the increase in a passive lifestyle (eg sedentary activity). Exercise is also effective in reducing stress, which can improve mood and increase self-confidence.
- According to several studies, it is recommended for people to do moderate aerobics (eg brisk walking) for (at least) 150 minutes per week, or vigorous exercise (eg jogging) for 75 minutes each week.
- Choose a sport you like. If you don't like running, don't force yourself to run three times a week. Go for a swim or join a class or sports club instead.
- Determine how often you can realistically exercise. If you can't walk for 30 minutes every day (five days a week), divide your exercise load into 10-minute walking sessions and do the exercise whenever you have free time.
Step 4. Get enough sleep
On average, adults need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night, while children and teens need more sleep (8.5 to 18 hours, depending on age). When we are constantly deprived of sleep, it is possible that we will face stress, anxiety, memory loss, and other adverse health conditions.
- If you do meditation and yoga daily, and exercise regularly, you should have no trouble sleeping at night.
- Take at least 30 minutes before bed to take a break. Lie back in bed and spend 20 minutes doing progressive muscle relaxation or reading a book.
- Don't look at a screen (eg computer, television, phone, or tablet) before going to bed.
- When you sleep, your brain combines the information it receives into long-term memory. When you're sleep deprived, your brain's ability to combine information is affected, causing your memory to deteriorate.
Step 5. Manage or tidy up your surroundings
It's often easy to feel stressed when we can't find keys or important documents, or when you come home and see that your house is in disarray. Therefore, choose a special place to place each object and, consistently, place the objects in their proper place. This way, you can reduce stress in your life so that your mind is free to focus on other things (like memory-boosting methods, for example).
- You don't have to do everything at once. Start small, like keeping your keys in a special case or attaching them to the door, or getting into the habit of storing your coat, shoes, and bag when you get home.
- If you have a lot of things to do, make a to-do list to keep your mind at ease and keep you going.
Step 6. Be social
Spend time with people you like and allow you to bring out the best in you. Socialization can reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, and take your mind off things that trigger stress.
If you don't have friends/family or live far away from them, try joining a club or community on the internet, or contact friends or family using an internet video chat program
Step 7. Laugh
Research shows that laughter can improve short-term memory in adults. Laughter also increases the production of endorphins and the immune system, reduces stress, and improves memory quality for all ages.
Watch comedy films or funny videos on YouTube. You can also share jokes with friends, attend stand-up comedy shows, or do other things that make you laugh on a regular basis
Step 8. Enjoy a spa day
Visit a spa or, if you don't have the funds, set up your own spa day at home. Take a warm bath or bath, apply a face mask, trim your finger and toe nails, scrub the soles of your feet, and apply moisturizer all over your body after you bathe or shower. Take the time to make yourself comfortable and proud that you've taken care of yourself.
If you don't have enough funds to hire a masseuse, ask a friend or partner to take turns giving massages
Step 9. Keep yourself away from technology
Reducing your use of technology (eg sitting and working at a computer, phone, or tablet) for 30 minutes can improve brain health and help you think more deeply. By setting aside a specific time not to use the computer, there's a good chance that you won't be working extra hours. You can also focus on what's at hand, and have time to do stress-relieving things, like exercise or meditation.
Step 10. Visit a doctor
If you're still feeling anxious or depressed, and/or can't sleep, it's a good idea to see a medical practitioner. It's possible that you've been in need of counseling (with a registered clinical counselor or psychologist), or certain medications, or maybe both. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for your situation.
Part 2 of 3: Improving Food Quality
Step 1. Eat foods that contain antioxidants
Several studies have shown that fruits, especially blueberries, help protect the brain and reduce the impact of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Try to consume about 240 grams of blueberries every day. You can enjoy fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried blueberries. Pomegranate (or pomegranate juice without added sugar) can also be a good source of antioxidants.
Step 2. Eat healthy fats
Many types of fish, including salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. These fatty acids can also reduce inflammation. Try consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids as much as 120 grams, 2-3 times a week. Apart from fish, avocados can also be a good source of healthy fats. Unsaturated fats contained in avocados can lower blood pressure and maintain healthy blood flow.
Step 3. Eat nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E and can reduce cognitive decline caused by aging. Try consuming 30 grams of nuts or nut butters every day. You can eat raw or roasted nuts, but be careful about the salt content of the nuts or seeds you eat.
Step 4. Try eating whole grains
Whole grains can improve cardiovascular health by encouraging blood flow throughout the body, including the brain. Try consuming 60 grams of whole grain cereal, one or three slices of bread, or two tablespoons of whole grain sprouts daily.
Step 5. Eat whole grains
Whole grains help stabilize blood sugar (glucose) which the brain needs as its "fuel". Try consuming 60 grams of whole grains every day.
Step 6. Drink fresh (freshly brewed) tea
Try to drink 2-3 cups of tea every day, both hot and cold tea. The small amount of caffeine in tea helps improve memory, focus and mood. In addition, tea also contains antioxidants.
- Make sure you use a dry tea leaf product or tea bags; bottled tea or powdered tea is less effective.
- If you are experiencing stress, you may need to reduce your caffeine intake as caffeine can increase anxiety/stress.
Step 7. Consume dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which can improve focus and concentration, and improve mood. Try to consume 60-120 grams of dark chocolate every day (don't exceed this portion).
Step 8. Drink enough water
80% of the brain is made of water. When your brain is severely dehydrated, it cannot function properly. To calculate how much water you need each day, calculate your weight in kilograms. For every 35 kilograms, you need to drink 1 liter of water every day. Therefore, the equation is: (your weight) x 1/35. The multiplication result is the amount of water you should drink every day (in liters).
- If you weigh 70 kilograms, then you need to drink 2 liters of water every day (70 x 1/35).
- You may need to drink more water when you sweat a lot (eg when exercising or in hot weather).
Step 9. Try taking supplement products
In fact, there hasn't been much scientific research proving that "brain-boosting" supplement products are really effective. However, there are some products that have the potential to improve brain performance, such as supplements containing ginkgo biloba (improves blood circulation), omega-3 fatty acids, huperzine A, acetyl-L-carnitine, vitamin E, and Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng).
Part 3 of 3: Changing Your Mindset
Step 1. Practice your mindfulness
When you are fully aware, you can focus on what is. Your mind will not focus on the past or what will happen, but on what is now. With awareness, you can also recognize existing thoughts, feelings, and situations without subjective judgment.
- What you shouldn't do: In the morning, someone overtakes you in line at the convenience store. You want to say something, but decide not to say it. Now, you can't stop thinking about the anger you felt at that moment. You keep replaying the things you want to say to that person in your mind.
- What to do: Whenever a bad memory of someone overtaking your line comes to mind, recognize and accept it, but let go of your anger. Try thinking, for example, "Yes, I was angry then, but I can't waste my time feeling angry right now." After that, bring your awareness back to the current situation. In this context, having awareness means getting out of the thoughts that arise (and blending in with the existing situation).
Step 2. Pay attention to your surroundings
This has to do with awareness. Try practicing imagining your surroundings. Make sure you really pay attention to the things around you; colors, smells, people, and weather. Live and enjoy the current situation.
Step 3. As much as possible do not do many things at once
Several studies have shown that the brain cannot switch from one job to another effectively. This means that when you are working on multiple things at once, you are actually losing a lot of time. Research also shows that we may not be able to remember what we learned when we do many things at once. In short, if you want to remember something, don't remember it while doing different things at once!
Step 4. Learn new things
Learn a new language, play a musical instrument, or improve your vocabulary. You could say that learning new things keeps your brain ready to concentrate. When we do the same things every day, our brain won't get the stimulation it needs to thrive. Therefore, make sure you learn new things regularly.
You can also learn a few different ways to use your senses. For example, try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand (if you're right-handed, try using your left) or turning a book over and reading it upside down for 10 minutes
Step 5. Engage all the senses when remembering something
Some research shows that multiple senses help us understand and remember new concepts better. If you want to remember something, try to imagine, write it down, and say it aloud what you want to remember.
- If you're trying to remember someone's name, imagine that person with their name written in their head. When you imagine it, say the name out loud.
- If you're trying to memorize a language, pick 10-20 words to remember each day, and write them down 10 times while saying them aloud. You can even do this a few times until you can write and pronounce each word perfectly, without having to think about it.
- The use of flashcards can be a good example of knowing how to remember something through visualization, writing, and speech. Flashcards can be an effective tool for learning.
Step 6. Repeat the things you want to memorize
If you want to have a strong memory that sticks in your brain, say what you remember after you finish the activity or activities related to it.
When you meet someone new, say their name while shaking hands (e.g., “Hi, Luthfi!”), then say their name again when you're done chatting (“Nice to meet you, Luthfi!”). If you find it awkward or awkward to do so, you can say or say his name quietly to yourself as you walk away
Step 7. Create associations
Before leaving the house, you remember that after returning home, you need to wash clothes. Instead of writing a reminder note to wash your clothes before you leave the house, you can do something, for example, leave your shoes on the living room floor (if your living room is usually empty or tidy). Just by looking at the lying shoes, you can remember to wash clothes.
Step 8. Don't cram your brain
The brain can only process some information at a time. Therefore, try to break what you want to learn into small parts. To ensure that you are using your memory as effectively as possible, prioritize what you want to memorize, and start with the most important information.
- It's important that you give yourself time and space to remember things well. Often times, we just need to process the information obtained before it can be used or memorized properly.
- Instead of remembering the numbers in the 5-6-2-2-8-9-7 pattern, try remembering the numbers in the 562-28-97 pattern.
Step 9. Test your memory every day
Throughout the day, do short tests on yourself. For example, when leaving a restaurant, ask yourself to describe how the waitress looked at the restaurant: her hair style, eyes, shirt color, or her name (if she wears a name tag).
Step 10. Don't give up
Your brain performance may decrease with age, but you can still learn new things and improve brain function.