Are you constantly losing your keys? Forgetting your phone or which errands you need to run? Instead of a “Senior Moment” you may be having a “Millennial Moment.” It turns out that memory loss starts as early as your twenties! And a recent poll showed that Millennials between the ages of 18-34 are getting even more forgetful than their parents and grandparents. What can you do to keep your memory sharp no matter what your age? Try these quick tips to keep your brain from hitting “delete.”
1. Press Record
Have you ever been introduced to someone at a party and a minute later realize you have no idea what that person’s name is? It’s probably because you forgot to press record on your memory. Distractions like looking across the room to see who else is at the party can lead to plenty of awkward “what’s-your-name-again?” moments. If names constantly escape you, focus on the name and try repeating it once or twice during the conversation. Another neat trick? Watch Dr. Gary Small’s “look, snap, connect” technique to remember anything easier.
2. Exercise Your Mind
If you want to keep your brain sharp, try brain yoga, study a new language or learn how to play an instrument. Learning new things can add new brain cells and strengthen your memory connections. Try these Memory Tips and Tricks to keep your noggin in tip-top shape.
3. Exercise Your Body
Physical activity is a key to improving long-term memory and brain function. In fact, a recent study showed that just 20 minutes of walking can give your brain a boost. Tired of your same old workout? Find a new exercise routine or try the TransformYou2 program to fire up fitness and weight loss.
4. Feed Your Brain
Improving your memory can start in the kitchen. A diet rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) keeps your brain cells flexible and fights memory loss. Another way to keep your diet full of Omega-3s is by following the Mediterranean diet, which reduces your risk for both heart disease and Alzheimer’s. In this video, Dr. Robin Miller shares why the Mediterranean eating plan – filled with lean protein, whole grains, veggies, olive oil and even red wine – can improve your brain functioning.
5. Manage Stress
Living in a state of high anxiety does your gray matter no favors when it comes to cognitive function. Stress affects memory by inhibiting both your ability to form new memories and recall old ones. It’s toxic to your hippocampus, the memory center, and increases levels of the hormone cortisol, which can kill brain cells. How can you start to turn down the dial on stress? Try spending more time in bed with your honey! Lovemaking is a natural destressor that releases endorphins, which automatically help you relax. Since you’re already in the bed, make sure you get enough sleep. Experts recommend seven to nine hours a night to keep stress levels down and memory sharp. For more ways to manage chronic stress check out our 12-Step Stress Management Plan.