An unfortunate truth about getting older is that cognitive function and memory begins to wane. It’s a difficult transition to grapple with because in many ways your memory holds the essence of who you are.
Then, there’s the practical side of memory, things like remembering where you left your car keys, what happened in your book’s last chapter, or worse, who your family members are. Neurological diseases can have a debilitating impact on the practical side of memory, along with your overall health and wellness, so it’s important to keep the brain healthy and properly fueled throughout life.
The good news is that there are proven natural ways to improve your memory, concentration, and focus. If you’re keen to keep your mind sharp as a tack, keep reading.
The importance of exercise for overall health, cognitive function, and well-being cannot be overstated. It’s absolutely essential for your body and mind.
Countless studies have shown that regular exercise improves cognitive function and working memory. Moreover, a study by the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus –– the part of the brain associated with memory and learning.
Experts say to shoot for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, so get outside and move!
Many people meditate to relieve stress, calm the mind, and find peace in their daily lives, but the effects of meditation are far-reaching. It’s a powerful practice that can have a positive impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And the best part is, you don’t need to become a monk to reap the benefits. In fact, just 10 minutes per day will improve your concentration and working memory.
Wondering how to meditate? You can start by just sitting comfortably in a quiet space and following your breath for ten minutes. Every time your thoughts drift away from your breath –- and you notice –– gently bring it back into your awareness.
You could also try using mindfulness apps like Headspace or Waking Up if you’d prefer a guided approach.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Research has shown that sleep is essential for memory, learning, and cognitive function. There is a TON of processing going on in the brain while you’re asleep every night, so losing sleep is a surefire way to limit the capabilities of your brain.
While we sleep, connections between brain cells are strengthened, and memories are processed and solidified into long-term storage.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep has shown to be most effective for memory recall, information processing, and overall cognitive function. So make sleep a priority and keep your mind optimized!
Exercise Your Brain
If you don’t use it, you lose it. Just like exercise keeps the body strong, mental exercise works wonders for cognitive ability. This exercise can come in the form of puzzles, games, learning a musical instrument, learning a new language, creative endeavors –– anything that stimulates your mind to solve a problem or explore uncharted territory.
Exercising your brain will keep your neurons firing and keep you in peak mental condition.
Spend Time in Nature
Nature has a powerful way of resetting our minds and reinvigorating our concentration. So if you can, try to get outside for at least 15-20 minutes each day, preferably in a park with a lot of plant life around.
Interestingly, a 2014 study showed that enriching office space with plants led to improved outcomes in concentration and cognitive performance. In that case, simply adding a few plants to your home or office space can be all it takes to improve your cognitive function.
Include Brain-Stimulating Foods in Your Diet
The food you eat plays an important role in the health and function of your brain. Eating a diet rich in brain-boosting foods will work wonders for your brain health and cognitive performance.
Here are a few foods that you should consider adding to your diet:
These healthy fats are essential for learning and memory and they’re abundant in fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines.
Along with reducing inflammation and other health benefits, studies have shown that blueberries improve memory function in older adults.
These are rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper –– all important compounds for neurological health and brain function.
Another way to get these brain-stimulating minerals into your diet is with a robust supplement focused on cognitive performance. Our Focus Performance blend features Lion’s Mane, which is a powerful functional mushroom that’s proven to improve cognitive function, focus, and memory. It also contains Cordyceps, a functional mushroom that’s great for energy and focus, along with Ashwagandha and Ginkgo Biloba to provide you with a balanced cognitive boost whenever you need it.
Check out Focus Performance in our shop today and see what’s possible!
Harvard Medical School, Regular Exercise Changes the Brain to Improve Memory, Thinking Skills
National Center for Biotechnology Information, Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing, Biological and Psychological Benefits.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, Blueberry Supplementation Improves Memory in Older Adults.
National Library of Medicine, The Relative Benefits of Green Versus Lean Office Space: Three Field Experiments.
The Conversation, Mindfulness Meditation, Ten Minutes a Day Improves Cognitive Function