I mean really, who doesn’t want to be able to boost their brain power and develop super memory. The human brain has the amazing ability to adapt and change at any age, even in old age, and this ability is known as neuroplasticity. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but actually when it comes to the brain this definitely isn’t true.
With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing pathways and adapt to ever changing ways. The brain has an incredible ability to reshape itself when it comes to learning and memory and you can use the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, and enhance your ability to learn new information and improve your memory.
A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. No matter what age you are, whether you are studying for exams, wanting to stay mentally sharp for your profession or just looking to improve your memory and grey matter as you age, there is a lot you can do to boost your brain power.
Below, I am going to give you 4 ways to develop super memory and boost your brain power today.
Tip #1 – Give your brain a workout
Your brain is just like your other muscles, they need a workout! When it comes to muscles, have you heard that saying “use it or lose it”?! That is the same with the brain. Your brain needs stimulation in order to continue growing and developing – again, it does not matter what age you are.
By the time we are adults our brains have developed millions of neural pathways to help you process and recall information quickly, solve problems and complete tasks with minimum effort. But again its like exercising your muscles, if you end up doing the same exercise day in and day out your body ends up getting used to that particular exercise that it no longer needs much effort to work those muscles, you need to change things up regularly. So if you stick to the same pathways, its becomes easy, and you are no longer stimulating your brain or developing the brain.
The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. You need to be challenging your brain and creating new neural pathways.
To strengthen the brain, you need to constantly learn something new. If the activity you are doing is something that you are good at then you are not challenging your brain. You need to learn something which is out of your comfort zone. The best activities to boost your brain, are the ones which demand your full attention and takes mental effort. Learning a new language, or skill, possibly taking up a new sport, or even, dare I say, board games. My family will laugh when they read that section and will be getting me to play more board games with them using the excuse of exercising my brain!! (I am not a big fan of board games – I think maybe I am just a bad loser haha)
On that note, I suggest choosing activities that, while challenging, are still enjoyable and satisfying. You will improve your memory, so long as the activities keep you challenged and engaged
Tip # 2 – Physical Exercise
Whilst doing those mental activities is important for your brain health, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to do physical exercise. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk of some health problems like memory loss, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones. Perhaps most importantly, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by boosting growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections.
Brain-boosting exercise tips
It is a known fact that physical exercise is good for the brain too, especially aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is good for the heart, and what is good for the heart is good for the brain. It gets your blood pumping through your body.
I tend to find the best time for me to do exercise is first thing in the morning, it wakes you up, clears away the cobwebs, and gives you an amazing boost of energy and motivation for the rest of the day.
Physical activities that require hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills are particularly good for boosting your brain.
Exercise breaks can help you get past mental fatigue and afternoon slumps. Even a short walk or a few jumping jacks can be enough to reboot your brain.
Tip #3 – Sleep Sleep Sleep
Sleep deprivation effects your memory, creativity and problem solving abilities. It also compromises your thinking skills. Adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night to be able to function at your best.
Studies suggest that the quantity and quality of our sleep has a profound impact on our learning and memory. Research also suggests that sleep helps learning and memory in two distinct ways.
- First, a sleep-deprived person cannot focus attention optimally and therefore cannot learn efficiently.
- Second, sleep itself has a role in the consolidation of memory which occurs during the deepest stages of sleep, which is essential for learning new information.
Try and make sure you have a regular sleeping pattern, try to go to bed at the same time each night and try and wake up/get up at the same time each morning. It will get you in a routine of good nights sleep.
Avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted by TVs, tablets, phones, and computers trigger wakefulness and suppress hormones such as melatonin that make you sleepy. Try to cut back on caffeine, reduce your intake during the day, and most of all do not have caffeine in the evenings as this will definitely interfere with your sleep.
Tip #4 – Stress Check
Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. When you are under a lot of stress it is pretty common to feel disorganized and forgetful, but over the long term, stress may actually change your brain in ways that affect your memory. Chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones, therefore linked to memory loss.
Stress can have negative effects on the body and brain. It can produce a wide range of negative effects on the brain ranging from contributing to mental illness to actually shrinking the volume of the brain, which may help explain why those who experience chronic stress are also more prone to mood and anxiety disorders later on in life.
Here are some tips for managing stress:
- Set realistic expectations (and be willing to say no!) see my tips on how to stop people pleasing here
- Take regular breaks throughout the day
- Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
- Set a healthy balance between work and leisure time
- Focus on one task at a time, rather than trying to multi-task
- Meditation – Meditation works its “magic” by changing the actual brain. Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and calm. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, memory, and learning and reasoning skills.
The Bottom Line
The brain is involved in everything we do and, like any other part of the body, it needs to be cared for too. Focusing on your brain health is one of the best things you can do to improve your concentration, focus, memory, and mental agility, no matter what age you are.