Memory boosting tips to celebrate ‘I forgot day’
Did you know this Sunday is ‘I forgot day? I’ve recently discovered such a day exists and I have to say I think I’ll be busy. If you’re anything like me, you’ve forgotten birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, doctors’ appointments, the list goes on…so how to improve your memory?
There’s so much going on in today’s busy world – how do we manage to keep on top of it all. Some people definitely have a knack for juggling and remembering. And other’s don’t :0(
When we forget, this, unfortunately, results in us having to apologise to people for missed events and ‘I Forgot Day’ is an opportunity to do all the apologising in one go and try to make up for it.
There are a lot of things that contribute to forgetfulness, including stress (which of course just leads to more stress), poor diet, and illness. But one of the most unusual factors that contributes to forgetfulness, is ‘walking through a door’ – literally!
“Forgetting why you entered a room is called the “Doorway Effect”, and it may reveal as much about the strengths of human memory, as it does the weaknesses, says psychologist Tom Stafford” (1)
How to Celebrate I Forgot Day
The whole purpose of I Forgot Day is to make amends for those things you’ve forgotten, and admit it to the people who have been affected by your forgetting, and ensure that they know that you still appreciate them. This can be done most effectively by writing a special apology note indicating that you’re absolutely mortified that you forgot their birthday or another special occasion.
On Sunday, why not try to put an end to your forgetfulness, and instead get organised. Get your calendar app to do the work for you! Technology is here to help us so let’s put it to good use, some people now even invest in an Echo or similar?
I Forgot Day is an important chance to set things right and make sure the next year is full of a few less “I’m sorry, I forgot” days than the previous one.
The Mental Workout
Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. But not all activities are equal.
My favourites are: laugh, eat chocolate, drink (a little) wine, sleep and eat (the right things) :0)
Top Tips for Improving your Memory
- Exercise & get your body moving
Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain. Furthermore, without regular exercise plaque starts to build up in your arteries and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood.Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised. To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities.
- Eliminate any possible stress factors
Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away at the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed as a memory problem.
Prolonged depression can actually destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. If any doubt depression might be affecting you, seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.
- Get a good night’s sleep and take naps.
Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information and getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours.
- Write it down.
If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help. Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it.
- Listen to music.
Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.
- Feed your brain.
50 to 60 percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.
Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat, but their lack of nutritional value is going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.
- Visual concepts.
In order to remember things, many people need to visualise the information they are studying. Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook, or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures or utilise colours and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.
- Teach someone else.
Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Take it a step further and it’s psychologically proven that if you teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.
- Do crossword puzzles, read, or play cards.
Studies have shown that doing either of these activities on a daily basis not only keep your brain active, but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia. So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book, or enjoy a game of solitaire.
- Eat breakfast and make sure it includes an egg.
Fay Weldon famously told us to ‘go to work on an egg!’ and according to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins, which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage, and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other, and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells. Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day.
Feel like you still need more help, then check out our further tips for boosting your memory!
(1) The Guardian
Other related Dovetail blog articles:
Top tips on how to stay focused
The art of multitasking?
How to deal with anxiety
Brain teasers – how does yours work?
Top tips: How to be a better manager
Top Tips: Managing stress in the workplace