Wait! Was that PR plan due today? Do I have a client meeting? Did I turn the stove off? Is that fire I smell?… In an ever-changing and fast-paced world, it’s easy for us to forget.
We have emails to check, papers to write, clients to meet, the list never stops. However, that doesn’t mean our memory has too. As a working professional, we want to stay as mentally sharp as possible, and now you can! There are many tips and tricks to improve your memory. Here are five simple tips to act as your how-to-manual guide!
1. One Sheep, Two Sheep: Sleep? What is that exactly? The sad truth is one-third of Americans do not get enough sleep. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 34.8 percent of American adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep a night. But 95% actually need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night to avoid sleep deprivation, obesity, high blood pressure, and mental stress. Sleep is critical when it comes to memory and learning. Research has shown that sleep is necessary for memory, with memory-enhancing activity taking place during the deepest stages of sleep. Tips to help you get the hours of sleep you need to help enhance your memory include: getting yourself on a regular sleeping schedule, avoid caffeine at night, and avoid all screens, (whether it be your phone, TV, or tablet) one hour before bed. Trust us, your brain will ‘lobe’ you for it!
2. Have a Good Laugh: “I hate Russian nesting dolls, they’re so full of themselves. I also hate when a sentence doesn’t end the way I thought it octopus.” Laughing yet? We’ve all heard laughter is the best medicine, and the same is true for the brain, memory, and the body. Listening to and reading jokes and puns can activate areas of the brain which are essential to learning and creativity. To laugh is to live. So, get to it. Laugh at yourelf, surround yourself with humorous people, watch a comedy. Your brain and body will thank you for it.
3. Put Down That Black Pen: Research tells us that using colored pens creates visual stimulation which triggers memory. So put down that black pen and swap it for a red or blue one. According to Science Daily, red pens are most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while blue pens are the best at boosting our creative abilities. Blue and red pens are also linked to cognitive performance. One experiment studied a group of male and female students in the 9th grade. The study found participants had better recall with red text than blue, and greater recall with blue than with black (33% vs. 27%). Long story short, put the black pens down. Red and blue are so in this season.
4. Let’s Get Physical: According to research published in the journal Neurology, physical activity can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years! Exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases the oxygen flow and reduces the risk of memory loss, diabetes, and heart disease. Research also shows that exercising four hours after learning something new can help you recall what you’ve just learned. Ever feel sluggish when you wake up? Once again, exercise has you covered. Try working out in the morning. It clears out the fog and peaks you for learning throughout the day.
5. Dear Broccoli, We Need to Talk: Your brain is a well-oiled powerful machine, so feed it the fuel it deserves. The Mediterranean Diet, also known as the MIND Diet, has been attributed to boosting memory. Research has shown people who follow this diet have the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a MIND Diet study, over 1,000 seniors were tracked for 8 years. When the participants thoroughly followed the MIND diet, they reduced their risk for Alzheimer’s by 53%. It is a low carb diet that focuses on avoiding sugar and trans fats. Interesting enough, one of these influential mind foods is broccoli. Eating broccoli not only makes your brain more powerful, but it also sharpens your thinking. Broccoli, we may have had a bad relationship in the past, but we’re ready to give this another try. What do you say?
-Haley Corkery │ Public Relations Specialist