In our daily lives, we are busy with jobs, businesses and other activities. It is somewhat normal to get forgetful once in a while when you have a lot on your mind, but it can be really annoying and problematic. Everyone isn’t the same when it comes to mental capabilities. Some people are more susceptible to forgetting small stuff than others. And the degree of forgetfulness doesn’t really depend upon intelligence either. Some of the most intelligent people are forgetful of little things.
Genetics has a major role to play in the health of our nervous system, especially when severe cases of memory loss like Alzheimer’s are considered, but scientists have found that a person’s lifestyle and their diet also plays an important role in increasing or decreasing their mental health and focus. So, here is a list of some super easy and simple ways to improve your memory and decrease forgetfulness while improving your focus.
- Decrease the Amount of Added Sugar from Your Diet
Everyone already knows that added sugar is not good for your body, but it is also bad for the mind. Among many other diseases, a high amount of added sugar in your diet can cause cognitive decline. Scientific research has been done on this topic, and it has been found that added sugar can reduce memory and brain volume and it especially affects the prefrontal cortex, which is largely responsible for short term memory.
Four thousand people participated in a study conducted by PubMed Central, which found that the people who had a large intake of sweet beverages with added sugar like sodas and energy drinks, had weaker memories and decreased brain volume as compared to the participants who did not have unhealthy sweet drinks in their diet. So, make sure that you limit, and if possible, eliminate the use of added sugar from your diet.
- Improve Your Sleep Schedule
Proper sleep is essential for good mental and physical health. Your brain and body need to have the proper amount of rest if they are to stay healthy. So, make sure that you are getting the prescribed 6 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Any less or even more than this can be harmful to the mind and body. You also need to sleep at the right time. Staying up all night and sleeping during the day is not a healthy habit. Scientists and doctors suggest that the night is the proper time for sleeping, and the optimal time to get some sleep is between 10 pm and 7 am.
Recently, a study was conducted that checked the memory levels of nurses working in the dayshift and the night shift. 68% of the night shift nurses had lower results than the day shift nurses.
- Avoid Alcohol at All Costs
Alcohol does not do anyone any favors, and it is especially not kind to your brain cells. Excessive drinking is very bad for the mind and body, and it has severe neurotoxic effects on the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain associated with memory. If your blood alcohol levels reach over 0.08 grams per milliliter, then your state may be classified as excessive drinking.
Recently, a study was conducted to understand the degree of damage alcohol did to the memory. In this study, memory test was conducted on 155 college students, half of whom consumed around six or more alcoholic drinks in a short time, on a weekly or monthly basis, while the other students were sober and did not binge drink at all. The students who binge drank had a lot of difficulty in immediate and delayed memory tests, while the others did not.
- Try Some Supplements
There are many natural supplements that have been proven to increase your cognitive strength and improve your memory. Supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are some common examples of memory improving supplements.
A great source of all these amazing supplements is fish oil. Fish oil supplements are easily available in the market, and you should start adding them in your diet to improve your cognitive health. Almonds are also known to be good for the brain.
- Try Using Cannabis
Cannabis is a drug that has had to face a lot of controversies, on one side, people say that it destroys brain cells, while others say that it can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. The whole situation is very confusing, and you don’t know who to believe. Well, the truth is that neither of the two is exactly wrong.
Actually, the effect that cannabis has on our minds largely depends upon the kind of strain we are using. You may have noticed that some strains of cannabis make people lazy and sleepy, while others make people active and energized. You should go for hybrid marijuana strains that have higher CBD content and low THC content. Many studies have shown that CBD has amazing benefits for the mind, and it can prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Exercise Your Body and Brain
Both physical and mental exercise is good for the brain. Most of us take time to train and exercise our body to make it stronger. But we don’t do the same with our minds. There are many mental games you can play to increase your cognitive health and slow down mental decay.
Playing these mental games is a super fun way to improve your memory, crosswords, Tetris, word recall games and Sudoku are some of the best examples of brain training games.
- Practice Meditation
Another amazing scientifically proven way to get control of your mind and improve your memory and focus is meditation. Meditation helps us combat stress and anxiety, which are major contributors to the deterioration of the mind.
Meditation also increases the amount of grey matter in our mind. As we grow old, the grey matter in our mind can start to decrease, which is bad for our cognitive health. Meditation can slow down this deterioration and improve your mental state when you grow old. People who meditate regularly are at a lower risk of dementia and other memory loss diseases when they grow old.
About the Author:
Jack is a psychotherapist and neurodegenerative disorders’ expert. He has been practicing in New York for 25 years now, and since then he has been fighting to make marijuana legal in the United States for it comes with numerous health benefits. You can read his blogs at https://thegreenace.ca/.