Ideas to improve memory and brain power
Understand your brain:
The brain is a very complex and distinctive organ of a human body. Our brain has many parts which are connected to each other and to entire body via neural pathways. These neural pathways can deteriorate, damage or break with age or any illness.
But, here’s the good news-we have natural ability of neuroplasticity also called brain plasticity. This incredible phenomena enables the brain to build itself or damage depending upon whether new neural connections are formed or the older ones are being broken. The formation of new neural pathways improves the brain health while breakage of neural pathways deteriorate it. The grey matter in the brain can also thicken, shrink or increase depending upon the brain’s condition. If grey matter is more than brain is in good health condition.
Now, we can make and build new neural pathways and can increase the grey matter ourselves! Scientists have deduced from various researches that certain practices in our daily life can really impact our brain health. We can ‘build’ our brain at any age (provided not suffering from severe mental or physical illness) and can maintain our brain health throughout our lives.
So, if you want to boost-up your brain, increase memory, cognitive abilities, learning etc. then read below and have some pertinent information on how to improve your brain health, right in this year.
Exercise really matters!
Form childhood till adulthood, one must exercise to keep the mind and body in shape. It is scientifically proven that exercise enhances our overall thinking abilities and boost memory and cognition.
Physical exercises include brisk walking, work outs, yoga and aerobics. Researchers have observed that children who are physically active have better memory and are more active. Their brain develops quickly and all the areas of brain have lots of neural pathways. Exercise builds new neural pathways and also increase grey matter in frontal, subcortical and temporal brain regions. These regions process motor functions, vision and learning.
Not only in children, but exercise develops neural pathways in adults also. Adults are supposed to exercise daily for increase in memory, learning, focus and concentration. Studies have shown that brisk walking can enhance the parts of brain which are involved in problem solving, focus and decision making. Thus, brisk walk before an exam or an interview can have positive outcomes.
Other studies have shown that bouts of 20 mins high-intensity exercise for 6 weeks can show improvement in high interference memory. For example, after 6 weeks one will be able to differentiate between his car and the similar car with same model and color. Even 10 mins intense exercise shows improved memory and focus. The people with slight impaired memory can show positive results with regular exercise.
It is shown that the protein in brain called neurotrophic factor, that is responsible for the growth, survival, and proper functioning of brain cells also increases by practicing daily exercise and physical activities.
Besides physical exercises, mental training is also very much important to increase cognitive abilities, focus and memory. Though there is less evidence that mental exercises have impact on memory boost bur certainly they do help in developing focus and concentration.
Mental stimulation can be done by playing puzzles, solving problems and recalling. Recalling can be done by seeing the objects around in proper order and then recalling them with eyes closed. This recalling exercise can really improve the memory and learning. These practices can be summed up as ‘mental gymnastics’ which can be carried out by taking certain courses.
Mediterranean Diet and Keto diet:
Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy and olive oil with medium amount of protein and very less intake of fats and carbs. Intake of fruits and vegetables along with nuts has proven to increase memory and strengthen the brain. Pistachios and peanuts are proven to boost memory and increase cognitive abilities the most.
Keto diet includes lots of healthy fats with medium amount of proteins and very less amount of carbohydrates. Though it’s not proven that how exactly keto diet enhances the brain health but studies have shown that it certainly decreases seizures and help Alzheimer’s patients.
In both these diets, very less amount of carbohydrates are included. More sugar intake affects brain and decreases the memory span and learning. So, basically least amount of white sugar should be used in order to maintain healthy brain and body.
It is proven that nap of 40 mins in any time of the day boosts the brain. It recharges the brain and allows it to rest and make new neural connections and to maintain the existing connections. Sleep enhances the ability to memorize and keeps one alert after waking up.
In a research, some people were asked to memorize the things around them and one group was allowed to sleep for 40 mins while the other stayed awake. The group that took a nap were able to recall the things quickly as compared to the other group.
Mindful meditation involves deep breathing while eyes are closed. The person concentrates on the breathing pattern and allows the thoughts to flow easily. No pressure should be applied on thinking and concentrating. Just breathing with yes closed and completely relaxed.
Along with this, one should remain calm and easy-to-go throughout the day. This allows the brain muscles to relax and it has good impact on cognitive abilities.
Learning New Language:
Other than mental training, one can learn new language. Learning new language has good impact on recalling and processing the words quickly. It is good for memory and learning also.
Researchers at high school of economics, Russia have shown that learning new languages can increase elasticity of the brain and allows the brain to code information effectively and promptly. Learning new language also slows down the aging of brain cells and enhance the cognitive abilities.
Learning a Musical Instrument:
Listening and learning music has great effect on stimulating neural connections and also building new neural pathways in children. Listening to the music can change the brain waves to enhance the listening and hearing abilities. This has connection with increased focus and control.
So, incorporating healthy diet and exercise in your routine alone can also help to boost brain health and keep it young!