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Improve Memory & Concentration Using These 7 Tips
How can you Improve Memory and concentration to alleviate the fears of your future aging?
As we age, we become aware of life changes. And one of those changes is forgetfulness during your day-to-day activities.
And it does not matter how old you are either.
Forgetfulness can happen at any age, so it would be good to learn some brain health and exercise information now.
We all get older daily, and you will want to improve your memory before it forgets who you are.
You will learn that there are many ways to enhance the grey matter between your ears.
Before frustration sets in, let’s get that brain in shape.
Following are some ways to improve your memory that you should start with now.
At any age!
1. Play Games To Improve Your Memory
You got to keep that brain thinking and working. And one of the best ways to do that is by gaming.
Gaming will help you improve your problem-solving skills while tuning your decision-making abilities.
Physically they will not only exercise your eyesight, but they will also contribute to hand-eye coordination.
Following are some examples for you to try out:
- Crossword puzzles
- Flash Cards
- Video Games
- Jigsaw puzzles (visual recognition task)
- Rebus puzzles (word picture puzzles)
- Mnemonics (a collection of memory devices that will aid you in improving your recollection ability).
2. Improve Your Memory Retention
One of the better ways to improve memory retention is one of the simplest things you can imagine: Reading. Science-backed studies have shown that the simple habit of reading will help you improve your memory.
“The results were incontrovertible: in comparison to the puzzle group, the group that read books for eight weeks showed significant improvements in working memory and episodic memory. In other words, the study demonstrated that regular, engaged reading strengthened older adults’ memory skills.”
Bill Murphy Founder, Understandably.com
So dust off a book, find a magazine, go online, and buy some reading material to start stimulating that brain.
Feynman Technique To Improve Memory and Retention
This technique was brought to light by Richard Feynman, who developed it to memorize the periodic table of elements.
He concluded that if we hear something, it will be stored in our short-term memory and then quickly forgotten. But if you were to visualize the item you want to remember and write it down, erase and write it down several times, you will force-feed your long-term memory.
Although it was considered an excellent way to boost concentration and improve memory while studying, it can exercise your brain whether you’re going to school or not.
3. Food For Your Brain
That adage ‘you are what you eat’ also applies to your brain. So it would be wise to consider what you are chowing down on.
Of all calories consumed during the day, your brain uses 20% to 30% of them.
Studies have shown that making specific diet choices could lead to a slower rate of cognitive decline.
While playing those games, put the potato chips back in the pantry.
Foods To Improve Memory
Your brain has got to eat. But it needs to eat well. Consider the following:
- Fish such as the oily kind. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines all contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids that help improve the cells in the body, including those in the brain.
- Whole Grains found in such foods as brown rice and oatmeal contain vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress.
- Berries and Dark chocolate, who says no to this? They both contain antioxidants that contribute to brain health.
- Eggs contain B vitamins that will add to better brain health.
- Coffee and tea contain many powerful antioxidants and amino acids that support brain health.
Foods You Should Forget
No pun intended, but you should consider forgetting the following foods. Or, at the very least, limiting them.
Half of the battle of feeding your brain is cutting out the unhealthy foods you might enjoy too much. Some of the worst food options include processed meats, those made with refined grains, and drinks containing alcohol.
Sugar. Regardless of where it comes from (cake, soda, in your coffee, etc.), high sugar consumption can increase the risk of dementia.
Trans Fats such as hydrogenated vegetable oils found in margarine and snack foods such as potato chips can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Artificial Sweeteners such as those found in diet drinks. Recent studies suggest that there might be a link between frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners and memory issues, such as cognitive decline.
Refined Carbs. These are foods that have extracted the bran and germ. Avoid foods such as white bread, white rice, rice cakes, white pasta, and some cereals. Why? Because they have a high glycemic index. That means these are foods that will cause an increase in blood glucose levels. That can raise the risk of depression.
Highly Processed Foods contain both sugar and trans fats. Eating large amounts of these refined carbohydrates in cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice, and white bread could damage your memory.
Fried Foods. Unfortunately, fried foods are high on the list of foods that can cause inflammation of the brain tissue. Limiting your intake or doing away with them all together would be a good idea for improving your memory.
Alcohol consumption can lead to short-term and long-term memory loss, affecting your ability to remember new information and memories from past experiences. But studies have shown that red wine can have benefits for memory retention.
4. Take Supplements For Improving Memory
Little will bring more controversy for brain and memory health than over-the-counter supplements.
Also known as Nootropics or smart drugs, they are substances that claim enhanced awareness and memory.
These claims are because of what they contain, vitamins such as E and B’s. They will also contain omega-3 fatty acids—the exact contents of good brain food such as fish and eggs.The FDA does not check out these product ingredients or testing. And because of this lack of regulation, supplement manufacturers can claim what they want, such as how their products will help you improve memory and alertness.
How convenient for them and you.
With no evidence that they work, they sell very well because of the convenience of taking a pill over the discipline of eating right to improve your memory.
Also, consider this: research has shown that the contents of these supplements do not work as well or at all compared to getting them from the foods that contain them.
But if you can’t stand the smell of fish or the taste of chocolate and berries, the consumption of some of those smart drugs will be better than nothing.
5. Exercise To Improve Memory
Your brain will appreciate some physical activity to improve memory. You need more than just gaming while eating the right foods to solve the memory loss problem.
Do some bicycle riding, walking, and even yoga to get you away from the TV.
Exercise will help all the good benefits from that brain-helping food you consume by increasing blood flow – an efficient and essential need to improve memory.
Exercising also helps to relieve stress.
And it will tire you out to help you and your brain to get a good night’s sleep.
6. Better Sleep For Brain Health
After all that mental and physical activity, your brain needs rest. Don’t underestimate this.
As you age, getting less than 7 hours of sleep can do more than just make you feel tired during the day.
You will subject yourself to heart disease and also depression, and stroke.
And according to the National Library of Medicine:
“Scientists believe that sleep re-energizes the body’s cells, clears waste from the brain, and supports learning and memory.”
The best way to get that 7 hours is twofold.
Be active during your day. Get off your (couch) and do something, clean the house, get cooking, and do some gardening. Get tired.
Get yourself on a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same times, day in and day out. If you’re all over the map with this, it will be challenging to get those 7 hours consistently.
7. Meditate To Improve Memory
Between brain exercises, food discipline, physical stuff, and proper sleep, take some time to decompress your brain by relaxing meditation.
A mental training practice known as mindfulness meditation will get your brain to slow down during the day by incorporating some simple techniques in your plans to improve your memory.
You can change your brain structure and improve function in a good way by practicing mindfulness meditation for 20-30 minutes daily. A small price to pay for alieving stress and depression.
But as simple as it sounds, it will require practice and patience. Especially the patience because you will feel like meditation is wasting time, and you have things to do.
Your brain needs to take a break once in a while to improve memory and concentration. And not just during your sleep time.
There is a difference between sleeping and meditation. And your brain reacts to and feels this.
So find a comfortable chair and have a seat.
Then do this:
- Plug your ears into a YouTube meditation video, not to watch but to listen only. They are numerous and accessible.
- Keep your eyes open. You don’t want to fall asleep. Focus your sights on a cobweb,
- for example.
- Slow your brain down by focusing on your breathing and not what you think you should do. (you should be doing this) Take a deep breath through your nose, then exhale through the mouth. Rinse and repeat. Again and again. Trying to keep your brain focused on your breathing.
- Do this for 15-30 minutes.
Meditation takes practice, but after a month, you will get into that brain-slowed focus state more quickly.
Improve Memory As You Age
You know what to do now.
You’ll want to improve memory and concentration by starting some brain-boosting practices today.
What’s terrible about playing games, getting out into the fresh air for a brisk walk, and ending your day with some berries and dark chocolate?
And now you know that carving out 15-30 minutes daily for practicing a mindfulness meditation session reinvigorates your brain and will eliminate some stress.
Think of how much better you will feel physically and mentally.
Incorporating these ideas will help put that grey matter between your ears on a path to better brain health, leading to a more responsive memory.
While young, during middle age, and beyond.
That’s what you want, right?
A healthy mind that will see you through your golden years without placing hardship on yourself and your family.
Start creating some memory improvement habits now to improve your memory for tomorrow.
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