They are only seven but could be more. Memory loss is something that worries us, much more after certain ages … so we have to get down to work to find out what we can do to preserve this capacity so important and so present in our day to day life. The latest research can guide us in this important task:
1. Use Tricks
In more professional terms, we are talking about memory techniques. A study conducted by the University of Arizona has found that ‘self-imagination’ is a useful way to improve learning and later recall of information. It is about imagining oneself in a situation or acting in a particular way associated with the meaning of what we have to learn. For example, if I have to remember to buy apples and milk, it would be something like imagining yourself picking apples from the tree or pouring the milk into a glass.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Rebecca MC Spencer, University of Massachusetts, published a study in March 2013. This study emphasizes the neurophysiological basis of how sleep influences memory and cognition. As she explains, sleeping is a very important process not only in the consolidation of memories, but also in the selection of information that will have to be discarded and forgotten or in the learning of motor skills.
3. Practice Memory Training
An investigation published in the journal PLOS One at the beginning of 2013, points out the benefits of training just 15 minutes a day with a computer game program. In this work, the group of people who played improved their performance in tests of working memory, executive functions and processing speed. This game can be anything that will challenge your memory.
There are more and more benefits for the brain associated with sports. Kirk I. Ericson, University of Pittsburgh, along with a group of researchers from different North American universities, claim that aerobic physical exercise increases the size of the anterior hippocampus and this leads to improvements in spatial memory. Ericson concludes that it is a good way to reverse the loss of volume associated with age in the brain structure essential for memory.
5. Eat Chocolate
A curious study published in February 2013 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology says that a type of cocoa component, flavonols, could be related to better cognitive functioning, since they stimulate cerebral perfusion, favor the neurogenesis and promote changes in areas related to learning and memory.
6. Use Meditation
This is another interesting field in terms of brain benefits. Mrazek and his collaborators from the University of California published a study in March 2013 in the journal Psychological Science that two weeks of meditation training improved the working memory capacity of a group of students, as well as their performance in a reading comprehension test.
7. Get Involved
Maintaining relationships with friends and having a wide social network has shown to be a factor associated with a better memory, as concluded by a team of Australian researchers in a recent publication in the Journal of Aging Research. In the study, those who had more contact with close friends in particular and a greater social network in general, maintained better performance in memory tests after a follow-up of 15 years.