I notice that as I age, I lose more and more of my memory. It’s ironic really since I can remember the exact spot I stood as my peers watched me recite a ridiculously long poem in second grade.
Do you feel like your memory is fading, too? In a deliberate effort to sustain your attained knowledge/past history, try these four tasks that will help you improve your memory and keep it strong long before you forget that second-grade poem!
1. Basic Math
During a common daily task like taking a shower or driving to work, give yourself a math problem. For instance, I will subtract two from every number starting at one hundred and work my way backwards (100-98-96-94 and so on). You will eventually get so good at reciting the order of your math tasks, you won’t even have to think much. In the event that you should become too good at these skills, the obvious action to take is to make the problems more difficult. No one ever said doing long arithmetic in your head wasn’t mentally stimulating after all.
2. Math Before Bed
Instead of counting sheep, count from 100 backwards. Simply counting backwards can throw people off, even if it should be a simple task. For some people with high levels of stress or lack of focus, you might notice that this task is a struggle. It’s okay if you do struggle, and if so, I suggest slowing the backwards counting down by a lot. You will notice that if you act on this task when you are laying in bed, it helps you to fall sleep. The task is so mundane; it will eventually bore you to sleep – literally. Who said counting sheep was the only way to induce sleep?
3. Math Games
Play Suduko and other number related games. It CAN be all fun and games! It is just that simple. Your brain is like a muscle – it gets stronger the more you use it.
4. Word Games
How many people can say that it’s their daily task to engage in the daily crossword in the newspaper? Most of the time it isn’t the youth, but it’s the older and wiser crowd. One thing is for certain, their brain game is on point because crosswords can be difficult and it does take some getting used to. Learn more, read more, game more.
5. Read More
When you were in grade school, you likely had a period of time every day where you read silently. Silent Sustained Reading (aka SSR) was a time for you to calm yourself down and probably gave your teacher a much-needed break. Reading and not moving helps you to focus your brain power. Many people these days just want to veg out in front of the TV after a long day, but refrain from the temptation. Even reading 10 minutes a day can help improve your memory.
6. Focus On One Task At A Time
We are a generation of multitaskers. Everyone is so busy, rushing from one task to the next, trying to get it all done. We eat breakfast while making our lunch; we play games with our kids while checking our emails. Keep your mind and actions engaged on one thing at a time only. Slow down and force your mind to focus on the task at hand. Recently, the coloring book for adult trend has become popular. Forcing yourself to stop and color like you did when you were a child is not only good for your brain but helps reduce stress as well.
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7. The Artsy Eye
Here’s a fun activity. On flash cards, draw a black dot in varying spots. Quickly deal the stack of cards to yourself, all the while rushing your focus point to the next card’s dot.
To spice this up a bit, do the same thing but with color dots. As quickly as possible, flip through the cards identifying the colors. After a while, the colors might appear to be merging making the colors difficult to identify easily. These seem silly, but it is important to find your inner child and relearn the basics every day of your life.
There are so many ways to improve your memory including eating right, exercising, etc., but why not go back to some of the grade school basics? A little math, reading or art will help engage your brain, improve your memory and can be fun!
If you have tasks you use to stimulate your memory and brain, comment below.