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5 strategies to keep your memory in tip-top shape

Oheneba Kwakye Omane
Oheneba Kwakye Omane

Your memory, as well as your physical health and wellness, are influenced by how you live, what you eat and drink, and how you treat your body. Here are five things you may do daily to maintain your mind and body in good shape.

1.Manage your stress

Take a moment and listen to relaxing music if you're feeling overwhelmed by a difficult scenario. Playing soothing music reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, relaxes the mind and body, and decreases blood pressure. Classical cool music could do good, but if that isn't your thing, listen to ocean or nature sounds instead. They offer similar soothing benefits as music, which may sound clichéd.

The steady barrage of daily concerns, such as deadline demands or minor squabbles, can undoubtedly detract from your capacity to concentrate and recall information. The main issue, though, is a persistent feeling of severe anxiety, which can lead to memory loss. Protecting your memory is one reason to develop a stress management strategy if you don't already have one. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and a "mindful" way of life can all be beneficial.

A balanced diet and low-stress levels go hand in hand. We often forget to eat properly when we're stressed and rely on sugary, fatty snack meals to get us through the day. Sugary snacks should be avoided, and meals should be planned ahead of time. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and seafood strong in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to help people cope with stress. Tuna sandwiches are fantastic brain fuel. Laughter releases endorphins, which boost mood and lower stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Your neurological system is tricked into making you joyful when you laugh.

2. Get a good night’s sleep

People who do not get enough sleep at night are more forgetful than those who do. A good night's sleep is necessary for memory retention. The most prevalent cause of poor sleep is sleeplessness or insomnia. Unfortunately, many insomnia medications can also impair memory and overall brain function. That's why it's better to start by improving your sleeping patterns and only resort to medicine if those efforts fail. If you do need sleep aids, start with the smallest dose and use it for the shortest amount of time possible to get your sleep back on track. Make sure you get the seven to eight hours of sleep recommended by your doctor. Turn off the TV, dim the lights, and take some time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most stress-relieving option on our list. Every day, attempt to go to sleep and wake up around the same time. This improves the quality of your sleep by assisting in the regulation of your body's internal clock. Go to bed at a time when you are normally drowsy to minimise tossing and turning. You should be able to wake up naturally without the assistance of an alarm clock if you get adequate sleep. You should probably go to bed earlier if you require an alarm clock. When it comes to napping, be strategic. Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes throughout the early afternoon. A nutritious breakfast is a great way to start your day.

Eating a nutritious breakfast can assist your biological clock sync up by communicating to your body that it's time to wake up and get going, among other things. Conquer sleepiness or drowsiness after dinner. Get off the couch and do something slightly stimulating, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting your clothing ready for the next day, if you become drowsy before your bedtime. If you succumb to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and find it difficult to fall back asleep.

3. Protect your brain from harm

Memory loss is a common side effect of head trauma, and it raises the risk of dementia. When participating in high-speed activities or contact sports, always wear the proper equipment. When riding in a car, always be sure you buckle up. Car accidents are by far the most prevalent cause of brain damage, and wearing a seat belt significantly reduces the risk of serious head injury. When bicycling, riding a motorcycle, in-line skating, or skiing, always wear a helmet.

4. If you smoke, give it up

Certainly easier said than done, but if you need more encouragement, keep in mind that smokers have a higher rate of age-related memory loss and other memory issues than nonsmokers. When compared to nonsmokers, people who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes each day in their forties have a more than twofold risk of acquiring dementia in their later years. Those who quit smoking by midlife and smoke less than half a pack per day, on the other hand, have the same risk of dementia as those who have never smoked.

Whether you're a once-in-a-while teen smoker or a lifelong pack-a-day smoker, quitting is difficult. Tobacco use is both a physical and psychological addiction. Nicotine is present in cigarettes, and it produces a short-term thrill. Your body experiences physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop getting your nicotine fix. When you stop getting your nicotine fix, your body goes through physical withdrawal symptoms and craves. You may resort to cigarettes as a quick and reliable way to improve your mood, relieve stress, and unwind due to nicotine's "feel good" influence on the brain. Finding new, healthier methods to cope with those sensations is part of quitting such as: keeping yourself occupied, attending a quit-smoking support group or sticking to a self-help strategy, increasing your water and juice consumption.

5. Cut down on alcohol

If you absolutely must drink alcohol, do it moderately. Too much alcohol consumption raises the risk of memory loss and dementia. Short-term memory activities, such as memorising lists, are challenging for people who are alcoholics. Long-term vitamin B1 deficiency, along with the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain, can cause rapid and profound amnesia in this situation. Memory loss can be irreversible in some circumstances, although it can also be reversed to some extent if identified early.

In general, however, you can go in for a mix of evidence-based approaches, such as alcoholism treatment medications, progress tracking tools for coaching and counselling and also practising moderation as an alternative.

References

10 Best Ways To Quit Smoking (2021) Retrieved from https://smokearmory.com/10-best-ways-to-quit-smoking-2021 on June 25 2021.

Robert Fortney, LPC. Retrieved from https://www.rfortneytherapy.com/articles-to-get-through-your-day

Oheneba Kwakye Omane

Health Enthusiast and Futurist