There are a lot of things you can do to improve your memory. There are also a few things you have to avoid. Avoiding the following things can do wonders for your brainpower and memory.
Don’t Smoke. Smoking is big no-no, not only for your brain, but also for your overall health and fitness. Smoking is detrimental to your memory and cognitive function. Smokers have a higher risk of suffering from stroke and hypertension (two other causes of memory problems) than non-smokers. So, if you still want to remember those precious moments with your loved ones, or you want to hold on to your wisdom, quitting smoking goes a long way.
Don’t Drink Too Much. Moderation is the key. Heavy consumption of alcohol can harm your memory, while moderate drinking may actually be helpful. Research proposes that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces the risk of dementia. Excessive alcohol is toxic to your brain cells and neurons, thus cutting back a few glasses can prevent further memory loss and usually leads to some recovery of damaged memory function.
Don’t Stress Out. Manage your stress well in order for you to concentrate better. Poor concentration is one of the main causes of poor learning and memory problems. Being under continued stress for several weeks can damage your memory by altering your brain chemistry. Stress is always a part of your life. Be in control especially during stressful situations. De-stress by taking a walk, deep breathing, or talking to a friend. You can also try meditating, listening to soft music, or engaging in a relaxing activity like gardening.
Don’t Isolate Yourself. Keep in touch with your family and friends. This can improve mental performance, especially when you’re old. Social interaction increases mental functions for it usually goes with intellectually stimulating activities. Your close social network can also provide support during your stressful times, thus decreasing the harmful effects that stress can have on the brain and on your health.
Don’t Eat Too Much. Avoiding saturated fats in meat and dairy products and trans fats in commercial products with partially hydrogenated oils helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy and arteries clear, and that in turn reduces your chances of developing heart disease and stroke, including the small “silent” strokes that can damage your brain function. Maintain a normal weight by avoiding and shedding those extra pounds. This lowers your risk of illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, which can also impair your memory.
Don’t Sleep Too Much. Avoid unnecessary napping during daytime, as this can alter your natural sleep pattern and prevent you from feeling tired enough to fall asleep during bedtime. Don’t take sleeping pills unless prescribed by your doctor and nothing else works. Sleeping pills can cause memory loss. And don’t drink caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas at night, as these stimulates can cause you to be awake for hours afterward.