The brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. Just like your body, you can also improve your mind through exercise - use it or lose it. Your lifestyle, health habits, and daily activities have a huge impact on the health of your brain. Whatever your age, there are many ways you can improve your cognitive skills, prevent memory loss, and protect your grey matter - and the more you do, the more agile you become.
Try some of these techniques to help you improve your memory.
- Put things into context. If you have to remember something important, imagine what you were doing at the time, where you were living. You’ll remember more efficiently if you’re in the right mindset.
- Visualise what you need to remember. If you have a picture in your mind it becomes much easier to recall.
- Make what you need to remember significant. If you want to remember something difficult, like a series of random numbers, give it an importance it doesn’t deserve – turn your bank pin number into your child’s birthday or use a meaningful anniversary.
- Stimulate your brain with new experiences e.g. learning a language. This is a great way to keep your brain active – it’s socially useful (pick the right language) and it’s interesting because you can feel like a different person. It’s also easy to judge if you’re doing well because you can tell instantly if someone understands you.
- Don’t be passive. This can be a problem for people living by themselves. Some research has suggested a great incidence of Alzheimer’s among people who passively watch the television. Have a conversation instead or get involved in an activity where you are interacting.