When was the last time you allowed yourself some quality relaxation time to clear your mind and recharge yourself? By enjoying some meditation or other self-discovery activity, your memory can be maintained, even into advancing years. A study carried out by researchers from the University of California showed that 14% to 22% of those studied had memory issues. Although, another study – also conducted by the University of California – revealed a more positive finding; the results showed that mindfulness exercises carried out regularly improved both working memory and focus. It was thought that the reduction in stress levels and improved attention span were the results of activities such as Mindfulness and Meditation. Read on to learn more.
The cogs of the mind
The cognitive functioning of your brain, which can be enhanced by Mindfulness Meditation, is responsible for your performance as it supports important mental processes such as learning and memory. The process of working memory is vital in the workplace as it enables information to be held on to long enough to use, thereby enhancing decision making and the completion of tasks. During Mindfulness therapy you will focus on the present and live in the moment rather than worrying about the past or the future. With this open level of attention, you will notice great improvements in your memory and the ability to complete tasks successfully. Also, factors such as diet, enough sleep and techniques to boost memory, have all been found beneficial. Some popular techniques are recalling information regularly, visualization and association which is memorizing something along with a mental image, and brain exercises like Sudoku or word searches.
Nutrition to improve memory
When improving your nutrition, focus on including essential fatty acids (EFAs) which can be found in oily fish, like salmon and sardines or vegetarian options such as flaxseed, soy and walnuts. EFAs have been linked to improved general health, especially cardiovascular, as well as brain function. Furthermore, the increased level of nutrition will make your mind and body more receptive to your alternative therapy sessions too, enabling you to find ‘a better you’, i.e. become the best version of yourself.
Whole Grains are another source of better nutrition, with a low GI they are helpful as they produce a steady supply of energy to the body and brain. The consumption of antioxidant-rich food is also important for brain health, so eat brightly coloured fruit and vegetables containing anthocyanin e.g. blueberries, and tomatoes which contain lycopene. All antioxidants have been shown to protect against free radical damage to cells, which is important for general health, but in the case of brain cells, this will impact on memory and brain function. Foods rich in B vitamins, for example, eggs, fish, chicken, have also been shown to improve brain health by reducing levels of a compound called homocysteine.
Holistic health, best for mind and body
By taking the holistic approach, which means focusing on the whole body and mind including connecting with the environment, great results can be achieved. Perhaps try taking part in alternative therapy, such as meditation, alongside improving diet and practising some memory techniques. There’s a lot to be gained from a fitter mind, including improved confidence, better social connections, possible progression in the workplace and a generally good sense of well being. Make this your way to go for a better quality of life, even into senior years.