It’s no lie that after we reach 50 our memories can start declining. Our brain power isn’t as strong as it used to be, but luckily there are certain things we can do to improve it. Practice these 18 easy ways and keep your memory ticking.
Acknowledge That Your Brain is Going to Change
The first thing to do is accept that your brain is going to change. This is easier said than done, but acknowledging that a brain declines will bring along acceptance. It’s also important to understand that there are activities to do that will help to stimulate the brain. Try to focus on new activities that have positive impacts on your brain.
Eat a Healthy Diet
HelpGuide.org writes that it isn’t just the body that needs a healthy diet, but also the brain. Foods that help the brain are vegetables, healthy fats and lean meats. B vitamins are also great for keeping the brain healthy. These include vitamin B12, B6 and folate. Make sure to always be sipping water throughout the day as hydration is key to cognitive function.
Engaging in both physical and mental activities will help to improve memory after reaching 50. Workouts should consist of both cardio exercise and strength training. Exercising will improve blood flow to the brain and this will help to keep it ticking away and decrease memory issues such as brain fog.
It may be worthwhile creating a sleep-friendly environment if falling asleep is difficult. Remove distractions such as TVs or mobile phones from bedrooms. It’s important to get into a routine with sleep and Mayo Clinic backs this up by stating “not getting enough sleep has been linked to memory loss.”
Engaging in social environments and community events can help to improve memory. Social interactions benefit cognitive function as the brain is stimulated through speech and actions. Social interactions aren’t always for everyone so another way is through volunteering options. This won’t just help the brain but also others that are in need.
Chronic stress is known to have a negative effect on memory. GreatSeniorLiving back this up by writing “mental strain and emotional tension can act as major barriers to the creation and retrieval of memories.” If stress feels like it’s making an appearance then try relaxation methods like meditation or deep breathing.
Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness. Various meditation practices can be explored and this mindfulness will help to keep the cognitive function working. One of the best ways to incorporate mindfulness into an everyday routine is through short meditation practices.
A great way to stimulate the brain is through puzzles. This is supported by MedicalNewsToday who writes “Doing jigsaw puzzles regularly and throughout life may protect against the effects of brain aging.” Mental stimulation can also come in the form of games, new learning and brain training apps.
Optimize Your Environment
Creating an organized living space that’s free from clutter allows for clearer thinking. Environments can greatly impact mental clarity, so keeping things tidy will not only create less stress but also allow you to think. This doesn’t just have to be with rooms, writing to-do lists or reminders will also help with mental clarity.
Challenging the brain with mnemonics such as acronyms, acrostics and loci will help with memory after turning 50. PubMed backs this by writing “Mnemonic training can improve episodic memory function.” This is the part of the brain that ages the most, so by working on this, memory should start to improve. The easiest way to do this is through word games.
While this has been previously touched on, staying hydrated is a key part of brain health. Water is incredibly important for healthy brain function. At least two liters of water should be drunk each day. If this sounds hard then set daily water intake goals. Dehydration will have a negative effect on cognitive function, especially for those over 50.
Alcohol can have a negative impact on the brain. For example, the Alzheimer’s Society says “Excessive alcohol consumption increases a person’s risk of developing dementia.” To improve memory, alcohol should be cut down on or completely eliminated. Not only will it have long-term effects on the brain but also other areas of the body such as the liver and heart.
Regular health check-ups mean measures or treatments can be put into place to help the brain and its memory. It means any illnesses can be caught early, increasing the option of treatment. Medical professionals will also be able to give their own advice on the best way to look after the brain.
Learn a New Language
Learning a new and complex skill benefits the cognitive function of the brain. There are many resources in place to learn something new such as online courses or local community centers. Whitby School backs this up by stating “Language learning helps improve people’s thinking skills and memory abilities.”
Follow a Structured Routine
Having a structured routine can aid memory as the same activities are being carried out each day. This helps the cognitive function of the brain as it needs to remember what to do next. The most important part of this is being able to maintain the routine while still ensuring that new experiences are not disregarded.
Read and Write Regularly
Reading is a great way to improve memory for anyone over 50. It keeps the brain engaged as it works out the different patterns of letters and words. Writing is also beneficial, for example by keeping a journal. This is supported by ScienceDaily who recently did a study stating that “Writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity.”
Learn to Play an Instrument
Music is beneficial to the brain. Different types of music can stimulate the brain and learning to read music and recognizing the patterns will help the cognitive side of the brain. It also calls for multi-tasking as the music needs to be read at the same time as playing the instrument.
Keeping up with current affairs and events means the brain is always working. Having a sense of curiosity means always being open to learning and this is the best way to engage the brain, ensuring minimum memory loss while aging. Keep the brain working even more by varying information outlets, for example reading the news, listening to podcasts or watching videos.