You leave home, close the door, and suddenly realize that you forgot your phone again. This is such a frustrating feeling! Symptoms of low mindfulness and confusion are not a normal part of aging. If you’ve noticed that you are becoming forgetful, it is time to wake up your brain and try some exercises that can boost your memory!
We at Bright Side love to feed our brains and found 10 unusual and simple ways to make our memory run like clockwork!
1. Switch hands during daily activities.
Normally only one hand is dominant and we use it most of the time. But try to switch it sometimes! Using your opposite hand will strengthen neural connections in your brain.
You can do it while brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, writing, cleaning, or pouring drinks. The first time you do it, it might be very hard, but slowly you will get used to it, and you’ll have given your brain a good workout.
2. Read books out loud.
Reading aloud can boost your memory! Speaking and hearing yourself speak helps the brain to store the information.
You can practice this exercise with your friend or child. If you can’t do that, it is good to switch to audiobooks. This kind of reading engages the imagination in a different way and other brain regions start to work.
3. Eat with chopsticks.
Engaging the concentrated areas of nerve cells in your fingertips can stimulate the brain. Fingertip activity, like using chopsticks, helps your brain by boosting your circulation. Plus eating mindfully can help your digestion and help you control your calories.
4. Wake up and smell the vanilla.
Many of us wake up in the morning and drink fresh coffee. You can just change your usual morning routine and wake up to something different! It can be the smell of vanilla or roses. Keep an extract of your favorite aroma for a week and open it when you wake up in the morning.
This exercise is very easy and is described in the book Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness by Larry Katz and Manning Rubin. By smelling a new odor in the morning, you can activate new neural pathways.
5. Wear earplugs in the middle of your daily routine.
Larry Katz and Manning Rubin also advised wearing earplugs. For example, you can do it when you join the family for breakfast. Experience the world without sound! But don’t forget to warn your loved ones that today you are trying a new technique.
Our morning routine can make us half-listen since our brain has a pretty good idea of what to expect. Block your major sensory route by wearing earplugs and use other ways to accomplish simple tasks like eating or drinking coffee.
6. Clench your fist.
The US psychologists say that clenching the right hand for 90 seconds helps in memory formation. The same movement on the left can improve memory recall.
This conclusion was made after an experiment with 50 adults who performed better at remembering words from a long list, while clenching their fist.
7. Elevate your heart rate 3 times a week.
Elevate your heart rate 3 times a week for 20 minutes. You can do this just by walking and checking your heart rate with your smartwatch.
Your brain will be immersed in oxygen and it will help you grow new cells. That is why aerobic exercises are so important for both physical and mental health.
8. Create word pictures and puzzles.
Take any word that you like and start to visualize the spelling of the word in your head. After you finish doing this, think of any other words that begin or end with the same 2 letters. These kinds of puzzles will keep your brain active and sharp.
9. Open a window while driving.
Driving in silence can be very relaxing, but if the weather outside is perfect, open your window! Smell the fresh rain, hear the birds singing.
Your brain will immediately begin to make associations between the sights, sounds, and odors that you notice.
10. Do the 4 detail observation exercise.
Practice when you are out and about! Memorize 4 details of people you encounter out in public. For example, notice the color of their hair, the type of shoes they wear, or their smell.
We don’t observe enough. We’ve actually gotten to a point where we often fail to receive information that our brain should be memorizing and it is possible to fix this. While sitting in a cafe, pick one person and describe them in detail in your head.
Which exercise are you going to practice? Do you have your own effective tips on how to strengthen your memory? Please share your comments with us below!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for Bright Side