11 Easy Ways to Improve Memory


Helping me on the site today is Todd Goldfarb. He wrote this guest post and is a writer at We the Change.

As we get older, the neurons in our brain lose elasticity making it easier to forget things.

Although this is an unfortunate reality all humans face, there are a myriad of lifestyle activities we can engage to increase our memory capacity!

Here are 11 effective methods you can integrate into your life to maintain a great memory as long as possible:

1. Eat Brain “Superfoods”

Roughly 50-60% of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used as insulation for its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell, the faster it sends messages and the speedier your thinking. Therefore eating foods with a healthy mix of fats is essential for long-term memory. Fish (wild salmon, mackerel, anchovies especially) and dark leafy green vegetables are excellent choices.

2. Stretch

The brain accounts for only 2% of the body’s weight, but accounts for 15% of its blood flow, and regular stretching (and exercise) keeps the brain’s arteries open and unclogged. Making a habit of stretching can also lead to increased energy, greater flexibility and a more relaxed attitude which all lead to better long-term memory!

3. Teach Others

Teaching implants knowledge in your brain in a different manner than regular learning, and is excellent practice for increasing memory (it helps if you are genuinely motivated to share the knowledge)!

4. Take a Break

Changing physical or mental perspective is a wonderful way to lighten the invisible stress that occurs when you sit in one place too long. Taking a 5-15 minute break every hour during work sessions is more beneficial than non-stop study. It gives your mind time to relax and absorb information.

5. Listen to Music

Researchers have long shown that certain types of music are a great “key” for recalling memories. Information learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled simply by “playing” the songs mentally.

6. Try Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a natural supplement that has been used in China and other countries for centuries and has been reputed to reverse memory loss. It’s also suggested by some health practitioners to be a highly effective mood enhancer and is worth trying if you experience memory problems.

7. Use Acronyms and Other Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonics are essentially tricks for remembering information. Some tricks are so effective that proper application will let you recall loads of mundane information years later. This one recommendation can vastly improve your memory and effectiveness!

8. Cross-pollinate Your Interests

Having diverse interests, and constantly trying new things, is a fantastic way to keep the mind sharp and fertile. Neurons that connect to existing neurons give you fresh perspective and ability to use knowledge in a variety of new ways.

9. Sleep Well

Consistently sleeping 7-8 hours a night will drastically increase your memory. During sleep, the brain appears to firm up memories of newly acquired information. The most effective “sleepers” experience the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles, and relaxation techniques before bed time can help really help your cognitive (and memory) capacity. During the day, a quick nap can be the impetus for a solution to a problem you have been working.

10. Collaborate

Interaction with other humans fires a different set of neurons than working alone, and collaboration can vastly increase your memory. Make a habit of joining forces at work and in your personal life to keep the brain fruitful!

11. Write About It

An effective way to increase memory capacity is to write about the things you want to remember. This will create oxygenated blood flow to the area of your brain responsible for memory and literally exercise it! Keep a journal, write detailed emails, or start a blog to improve your capacity to memorize.

We will all experience a degree of memory loss as we get older. By implementing a few of the practices described in this article, you can inhibit a more rapid decline in memory. Give them a try!

Todd Goldfarb writes for the popular blog
We The Change, and is the author of 25 Fun Ways to Pamper Your Body and Increase Vitality and 14 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Career.

  • Jonas Park

    Great article. It’s great to be able to quickly read down a list and pick out immediately things you can start doing right away to improve yourself.

  • Bart

    I know that memorizing and recalling information have biological components, but they also have learned skill elements too. Just like any other skill, you can practice and get better memorization. I have done personal projects that made me memorize one important scripture or quote a day for 90+ days in a row. At first, you have to read and reread the material to recite it perfectly, but in a few weeks, you only need to read something slowly once before you can repeat it without aid the next day. Don’t neglect the elusive obvious – directly exercise your memory with the exact feat you’d like to get better at. If you want a better facial recognition memory, practice looking at faces and placing the names.

    Furthermore, I like to take advantage of a combination of several of the tips (3,8,10) to increase my memory. When learning something, I try to experience it in several ways. You could see it visually, and then close your eyes and imagine the process in your mind. Or you could try to learn the same item in a different context, by finding what impact it has in a totally different arena than the one it was presented in. For example, you could determine what effect the romantic painters had on science. By layering your learning with different perspectives and biological systems, you can create a lot of additional neurological pathways that augment your memory.

    Just finding how a piece of information fits into your real world experience will help the factoid be glued into memory far more than if you just try to memorize some fact for the sake of it.

    – Bart

  • 4mind4life

    Some good tips here….

  • maddi

    yea this really works i have memorized a billion new songs .

  • flash

    Your post gave me two good ideas which I do not do. One is teaching and the other is working with others. I have a habit of doing things alone and I don’t like to teach at all. But I think I should try them now. Thanks.

  • Trevor_Memory

    Here is some more info on some of the brain food:

    Vitamin C is an antioxidant and it prevents damage leading to different types of diseases.

    Vitamin B can improve our thinking ability.

    Vitamin E can help preserve brain function and protect nerve-cell degeneration. It is also one of the important antioxidants that our brain needs.

    Carbohydrates are good for the brain, because they contain Glucose which are known as the brain fuel. It gives off energy for us to concentrate, remember, learn, and other activities.

    Then there’s your protein. Amino acids are obtained from protein. Neurotransmitters need those amino acids to relay or become a messenger from one nerve cell to another. A high protein meal can make us feel energized because it increases the tyrosine levels of our brain and blood. Tyrosine and tryptophan are some of the different types of amino acids. And because tyrosine can make us become more energized, our brain can concentrate more.

  • Camila

    I agree that music plays important role, my son was very weak in maths, he generally had very weak memory he could not remember what was done the class yesterday. I was worried then one of my friend told me about Proleva his daughter had significant improvement in memory. Proleva did extensive studies on Green tea concluded that it is an excellent memory enhancer. Proleva uses green tea to get the best of the benefits for the customer.

  • Tarra Molinary

    When I read posts like these, i think, “Isn’t this exactly whats in my head, its Precisely what i was thinking!”

  • Improve the memory

    Our brain is cruciak to our life! Thats why we need to keep it healthy and perform activities that require brain usage. Memory games are actually really important when it comes to keeping the brain healthy. Awesome article! Very helpful. It certainly has helped me a lot !

  • viki

    so interesting! our brains need to stay sharp as we get older – I’m only in my 40’s and I sometimes feel like I’m starting to forget things!
    Good tips. I’m trying everything to ward off Alzheimer’s. My mother had it for several years and I was her caregiver. Very sad to see what she had to go through.