Memories play an important role by helping us recognize and remember people or things that happened. "Memory creation and management are a complex process where the brain stores, collects and recalls information necessary." Cognitive conditions prevent people from creating memories. Some ways to help improve memory can simply be incorporated into our daily routine.
1. Video Games or Brain-training Applications A study conducted in 2017 in the Behavioral Brain Research journal concluded that playing video games improve functioning of memory-associated regions in the brain. Some improvements were noted in the semantic memory; which is involved with recall. We do not recommend you playing video games all day, but if you have some spare time video games might be a good memory building pass time. If you don't like video games, then look no further. There are many applications designed to help improve memory as well, including crossword puzzles. This can help prevent cognitive decline. Some apps include: a. Lumosity, Cognifit, Brainfitness and Clockwork Brain
2. Mnemonics to Aid Recall Mnemonics not only help with recall, but they also improve the brain. A research article in 2017 in the Neuron magazine showed that mnemonic training reshapes the brain on a physical level. This is done by the generation of new cognitive network connections to help with memory function. You can use mnemonics to help with just about anything; work, music, and names. If you are trying to remember the 8 small bones that make up the wrist for medical school a good mnemonic would be; Sally Left The Party To Take Cathy Home; Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate and Hamate. Now you will never forget. This will help you stay sharp and strengthen your mental ability.
3. Exercise Regularly Exercising is good for just about anything, not only memory. One of the best ways to take care of your body and mental health is by exercising. A research study in Trends in Cognitive Science found that physical exercise stimulates memory retention. "Exercising leads to more balanced hormonal function while stimulating neurochemical changes in the brain." Creating a weekly exercise regimen that best fits your schedule is the best way to help you keep motivated.
4. Reduce Stress "Cortisol, a stress hormone, can flood the brain's memory banks and diminish recall and recognition, according to recent research." Research found that those diagnosed with dementia had persistent stress which led to impaired memory. By including stress reduction methods; meditation, mindful thinking, reflection and journaling, this helped lower stress levels and improve memory function.
5. Eat Veggies and Fruits People think that their diet is not going to affect their mental and physical health, but that is where they are wrong. Vegetables and fruits contain important antioxidants and substances; "vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols help reduce oxidative stress in the brain." A study conducted by Harvard Medical School on 28,000 men in their early 50's over two decades concluded that men who ate six servings of vegetables and fruits daily had better thinking skills than those who ate 2 servings or less.
Memory is an important factor when it comes to our daily lives. If you want your cognition to take care of you, you must take care of it. If you try to incorporate these steps into your daily routine, you will realize how much your memory, health, and mood will improve.