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Where are those keys when you need them? No one can remember everything, every time, but these strategies can improve YOUR recall:
• Giving your brain a workout:
Keeping your mind active helps stave off memory loss. Do crossword puzzles or riddles. When driving to work or the grocery store, take a new route, rather than the same route every time. Learn a new skill that flexes your mental muscle, like playing a musical instrument or juggling.
• Rest after learning:
Want to lock in knowledge? Immediately after learning new information, take a break and do nothing at all. In a study published in the medical journal Neuron, researchers from New York University asked participants to pair several sets of images, and then had them rest, while taking MRI images of participants’ brains. The MRI images suggested - and a memory test confirmed it - that rest strengthens recall.
• Get physical:
Try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day—it increases blood flow to your brain, which may help to preserve memory.
• Watch what you drink:
Too little water (or worse, too much alcohol) a day can lead to confusion and rapid memory loss.
• Don’t stress out:
When you experience stress, your body releases cortisol, which can worsen memory. To stay calm, try not to assume the worst outcome in a given situation. Resist making negative generalizations such as, “I haven’t found a job yet, so I probably never will.” Also, practice stress management, such as meditation.
• Get to dreamland:
Recent research reveals that a solid night's sleep helps affix memories in the brain so we can better retrieve them later.