What was the name of my seventh-grade teacher? Where did I put my home keys? Why did I come to this place? What did I have for breakfast yesterday morning? If such things happen with you occasionally then it means that you have started losing your memory power. As you grow older you start losing your memory. Changes in your memory are common in old age and middle age. But the truth is that we all need a good memory power to do our daily activities efficiently.
Learning new skills and memorizing them for future usage is represented as neural pathways in the brain. Your brain works like the software of your body; it regulates, controls and directs your body. You should keep your brain fit and healthy and sharpen your memory. So, here are ten brain exercises for lifting your cognitive fog.
10 USE YOUR NON-DOMINANT HAND
You don’t have to become ambidextrous. You might just challenge your brain by switching to your non-dominant hand which helps you to activate both the sides of your brain. Exercise brushing your teeth, eating, using your computer’s mouse or conduct other tasks, but with your non-dominant hand. By using this, you are triggering your frontal cortex, a building neuron that appreciates the novel and new.
9 PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT OR FIDDLE WITH A RUBIK’S CUBE
Over thousands of years, the human brain has evolved to tune itself through both making and using tools. By doing things that are similar to using tools, you help to fine tune your brain and keep it humming along nicely. For example, playing the violin or solving the Rubik’s cube have things in common with making and using tools. All require the use of gross motor skills, fine motor skills and sequences for operation and identification of things. Fine motor skills are small movements such as picking up small objects and holding a spoon — that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Gross motor skills are the bigger movements — such as rolling over and sitting — that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and fee. Therefore, doing such activities daily or twice a day, should help to keep your brain in great shape.
8 PROPER SLEEP
Sleep performs a requisite role in the functioning of your mind. You should at least take 6 to 8 hours of sleep which will help you to think and learn new things for the next day. During sleep, your mind doesn’t operate to its optimum capacity. Sleep is important for our memory consolation or comfort with the memory-enhancing activities occurred during the deepest stages of sleep. Consolidation or comfort of a memory is a process that takes an initially unstable representation and encodes it in a more sturdy, effective and efficient manner. In this new state, the memory is less capable of interfering. Midnight time is considered as the most effective time for sleep.
7 LAUGHTER EXERCISE
We have all heard about the benefits of laughter in our life, that laughter is the greatest medicine for us. But nowadays, we all live a busy life in which we don’t have time for fun, enjoyment and laugh.
Laughter seems to help people, think more broadly and associates more freely.
We should enjoy our life and laugh a lot for this we can spend time with friends, read jokes and pay attention towards the activities of the kids.
Meditation is a manner in which individual trains the mind to concentrate and focus. It gives relief to the mind and involves an internal push to regulate the mind in many ways. Meditation has been proved to be one of the best exercises to improve memory. In ancient times, people had a very sharp memory power because they regularly exercise meditation. It is a mental exercise which we do to reach a high level of concentration, it strengthens our mind and sharpenszour memory. There are many benefits of Meditation like it works like a training activity for our mind which will strengthen our memory and it slows down the aging process of our mind.
5 DEEP BREATHING
Your mind needs oxygen to work perfectly. Deep breathing helps you to improve blood flow in your body and mind. Which in turn increases the oxygen level in your mind and helps your brain in functioning better. Deep breathing not only sharpens your memory but also keeps one’s anxiety low and it is also beneficial for high blood pressure patients.
4 CHEW GUM
Chewing gum is a simple act to stimulate our mind, which improves concentration and memory. In a research, scientists took 75 participants and divided them into three different groups. The first group didn’t chew the gum. The second group only chewed the gum. The third group carried out the motions of the gum without any chewing gum. The gum-chewers’ scores were 24% more than the controls on tests of immediate word recall and 36% more on tests of delayed word recall. They were also more accurate and exact on the test of spatial working memory. This is because while chewing gum raises our heartbeat by 3 BPM, increasing blood flow in cerebral areas which could explain the improvement in such brain activity.
3 BLUE LIGHT EXERCISE
Light is as powerful as electricity, and if you use it correctly you can enhance your focus and energy. Blue light is considered as the best light for our brain. Exposure to blue light increases brain alertness more than drinking a cup of green tea. Blue light also speeds up your reaction time and impacts circadian rhythm the internal clock that controls your sleeping schedule. Solar rays are abundant of it, and the sun is up to 1000 times extra powerful than anything you’ll get from a light bulb. For maximum gain, go for a 20-minute walk outside within 30 minutes of waking up. The generous dose of sun will switch your brain on, increase your alertness, and get you ready to commence your day.
2 USE MNEMONIC DEVICES
Mnemonic devices are those devices which help us to sharpen our memory. These devices turn information into more appealing and attractive way so that we can easily learn and sustain them in our memory for more time. Mnemonic devices are also called as memory tools, memorizing aid, memory devices, and brain tools.
- Rhymes – Rhymes are attractive and easier for learning due to their rhyming scheme. Rhymes are stored by acoustic encoding in our mind.
- Music mnemonics- Songs and jingles can be used as a mnemonic. A common example is how children remember the alphabet by singing the ABC’s.
- Name mnemonics- The first letter of each word is combined into a new word. For example; VIBGYOR (colors of the rainbow).
- Image mnemonic- The information is constructed into a picture.
1 EXERCISE READING HABITS
According to scientists, reading stimulates the growth of synapses and new neurons in the brain and shores up the ones you have. Recent studies in Neurology prove that who had a higher level of reading skills performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t. You should inculcate the habit of reading. Reading newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, articles improves your focus, concentration level and also sharpens your memory.