The human memory is a powerful and mysterious force. Scents and sounds can evoke visions of the past or allow us to recall a loved one. Losing your memory — struggling to recall names or stumbling over well-known telephone numbers — can be distressing. Here are a number of tips to keep your memory healthy and in top shape.

If you have noticed that your memory isn’t what it used to be, maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep. You need to be sleeping seven to eight hours each night in order to improve your memory. During your sleep cycle, your brain processes all new information to create these memories for you so you have them to recall later.

Your memory is only as good as the effort you put in to maintaining it. If you believe that you have are eventually going to have a poor memory no matter what, then it can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Give yourself positive reinforcement when you do recall something correctly and forgive yourself if you make a mistake. Your memory should begin to improve in no time. Of course, you also need to be eating and sleeping well – and go easy on the alcohol!

Retaining knowledge is only hard when you start to doubt yourself, so always be sure that you’re as confident as possible when studying or attempting to learn anything. Doubt creeping in causes you to only recall the doubt. It doesn’t necessarily make you forget, but it certainly doesn’t help you to remember.

To help prevent memory loss, you should regularly spend time socializing with your friends. Interacting with friends and loved ones in a social setting helps to prevent stress and depression, both of which seriously impede memory function. Clear time in your schedule to relax and enjoy your friends. Your memory will thank you for it.

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Drink more milk for healthy brain activity for life. Milk is a veritable treasure trove of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and calcium that all have incredibly important functions for taking care of your brain. These vitamins and minerals do a great job in supporting the functions of your brain. The healthier the brain, the better the memory will be.

To help improve your memory and overall brain function, try to eat a healthy diet. Studies have shown that eating certain foods can help improve a person’s memory. Spinach and many fruits, including blueberries, help memory function. Omega-3 fatty acids is also beneficial when trying to improve memory.

If you are trying to remember some body of information, one of the best techniques for doing so is to try to teach it to someone else. Teaching concepts to another person actually improves understanding and recall for both the student and the teacher. Even something as simple as reading out loud to someone else can help too.

The best way to keep your memory sharp is to make sure that you stay mentally active. Physical exercise keeps your body in shape, and mental exercise keeps your mind in shape. Doing crossword puzzles, reading complicated passages, playing board games, or learning a musical instrument can all help you keep your mental edge.

When trying to remember something, having patience with yourself will help you greatly! The harder you try to think of something, the more stressed you become, and of course, the more stressed you become the more difficult it is to remember anything! Take a deep breath, relax, and try to clear your mind and before you know it what ever you were trying so hard to recall will pop right up in your mind!

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Jigsaw puzzles are good to improve your memory. Choose the harder ones (500-600 piece puzzles) for greater benefits. This game requires visual judgment, critical thinking and shifting focus from the small pieces to the big picture several times. Mastering your jigsaw puzzles skills will help you when you need to use your memory in your everyday life.

As if you needed another excuse to exercise, physical activity enhances the effects of helpful chemicals within the brain and actually protects brain cells! Exercise is one potent weapon in improving your memory or maintaining more of it, as you get older. So keep active, keep moving and keep more in memory!

If you have a list of words that you need to remember, try putting them in alphabetical order. Our society has already categorized many common items into alphabetical lists, so it is a pattern that your brain is familiar with. As a result, when you alphabetize a list of words, your brain recognizes the well-known familiar pattern and has an easier time recalling them at a later date.

If someone you know is suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or another illness that effects their memory, try showing them pleasant pictures from the past. By looking at pleasant memories, the memory of these patients may improve. Be sure not to bring up unpleasant memories as this could cause them a setback.

Visualizing information in your brain works well for many people. You only have to remember a small piece of information at a time, rather than a large amount at once. An example of this is a phone number. It is much easier to recall 888-990-8765 than it is to remember 8889908765.

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A good way to remember names and improve memory is to use pictures to associate with the names. If the persons name is Bob Frost, try to remember them covered in frost. If the persons name is Gemma Hand, try to picture them standing and applauding giving someone standing ovation or giving them a hand moving.

When trying to remember a small group of items try to sing them. Make things that you need to remember into little songs. Studies have been done that show that songs are easier to remember than just remembering groups of objects in a list. Just think about all the jingles you hear on television and the radio, they are very easy to remember even when you hear them only once or twice.

As you’ve read in this article, keeping your memory healthy and strong is easy and can be fun! Use these tips to keep your mind sharp and enjoy the benefits of always having the name you need on the tip of your tongue, being able to find your keys, and remembering the milk!