A healthy brain is important to functioning well in everyday life and for engaging in activities you enjoy. However, brain function can diminish over time, and it can be affected by a number of different factors. Here are 10 brain fitness tips to improve your concentration and memory power for daily life.
1. Eat A Healthy Diet To Nourish Your Brain
A well-functioning brain begins with good nutrition for your whole body. Avoid processed foods, and eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, lean meats, fish and whole grains. Choose healthier oils, such as olive oil and canola. The best foods for good brain health include fatty fish, blueberries, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Freshly brewed tea and dark chocolate make good snacks for brain health.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Your brain depends on the oxygen and nutrients that are carried through the bloodstream, so you can help to keep your brain healthy by engaging in regular exercise that keeps your cardiovascular system functioning well. Any aerobic exercise, such as tennis, bicycling, swimming or brisk walking, is a good choice. The important aspect is doing it regularly.
3. Manage Your Medical Conditions
Another important factor that can affect brain health is your general health. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure can affect the blood supply to your brain. Work with your doctor to carefully manage your medical condition to maintain good brain health.
4. Cultivate Healthy Sleep Patterns
Researchers believe that sleep cycles act as a sort of housekeeping function for the brain, removing toxins that normally build up during the day. If you are not getting sufficient sleep, you are preventing the natural process of brain repair to occur. Make a special effort to design a sleep ritual before going to bed, to help you prepare for sleep. Avoid heavy foods and stimulating activities, such as exercise or watching TV. Ensure that your room and your clothing are comfortable for sleep.
5. Do Puzzles To Challenge Your Brain
You can find a wide variety of puzzles and games that help to challenge your mind to think in new ways, to help form new neural connections and improve your concentration and memory. Brain experts recommend varying the types of puzzles you do for the greater effect. A few common types include:
- Crossword puzzles
- Word-finding games
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Memory recall games
6. Make A Point of Focusing Your Attention
Traffic noises, sounds from electronic devices, background conversations and a variety of other sounds, sights and smells can bombard you continuously. Make a point of putting these distractions into the background and focusing your attention on one task. If you exercise your concentration ability frequently, it will become stronger.
7. Use As Many Senses As Possible To Help You Remember
Engaging your senses can help to “fix” a concept in your mind more strongly than if you simply read it in a book or on a computer screen. Some people find that singing something they are trying to remember helps them to store it more easily in their memories. If what you are trying to remember involves a concrete object, touch the object and outline its shape to improve your retention.
8. Relate The Subject To Something You Already Know
A subject may be similar to other things your have learned in life, so that you can relate the new information to something you already know. This can make remembering the information easier.
9. Employ Mnemonic Devices
A mnemonic device is a technique that uses imagery and other retrieval tools to make it easier to remember ideas and concepts. For example, “My Very Easy Method, Just Say, Understood Now,” is a convenient way to remember the order of the planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
10. Rehearse the New Information
Recite the information out loud to yourself when you alone to help store it in your memory. Using your voice helps to make it easier to recall when needed.
If you utilize these 10 techniques, you will find your ability to remember new information increases dramatically. And you will be able to learn more effectively, converse more intelligently and grasp new concepts with greater ease.