Do you have trouble recalling your friend’s name? Do you often forget picking up important things from the grocery list? If you answered yes, this is natural. Our memory tends to worsen as we age.
Here are eight ways that can help you stimulate your brain and make it more alert and active.
Aroma: Smell rosemary
A study done in 2003 revealed something interesting. For the test, the volunteers were placed in three different cubicles. Some volunteers were in a scent-free cubicle, some volunteers were in a cubicle infused with lavender oil and others were in a cubicle infused with rosemary oil.
Tests revealed that smelling lavender decremented the performance of brain, affected reaction time and the attention span of a normal person. In contrast, rosemary did the opposite. People who smelled rosemary were more alert, responsive and displayed significant enhancement of performance in memory based tests and activities.
To improve the performance of your brain, keeping a rosemary plant on your window sill would be a good idea.
Diet: Healthy fats and antioxidants
Our brain is built mostly of healthy fats. Some good sources of healthy fats like omega-3 are walnuts, fish oil, salmon and flaxseeds. A wonderful article by Movement and Neuroperformance Center explains that antioxidants protect the body and the brain from oxidative stress, which can cause cell damage.
Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants among fruits. And if you brain wants some dessert, dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants as well.
Games: Solve sudoku and crossword puzzles
These games make your brain work hard. The harder it works, the better it performs. A website called Lumosity was developed by a company in California called Lumos Labs. It develops cognitive games, which aim to improve memory, attention, flexibility, and problem solving skills of a person. You can take a 10-minute fitness test on their website and based on the results, it will create a personalised training program just for you. There are a number of other brain challenging games like jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, crossword puzzles and other online games.
Hobbies: Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill is a great way to keep your mind alert and active. There will be always some skill that you have never explored. This is not only a good way to have some fun, but will also activate multiple areas of your brain.
An article published on Forbes this year illustrates seven ways by which meditation can actually change your brain. According to the article, a study done by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) found that people who meditated for a long time in their life had better preserved brains and were more mindful in their daily activities.
If you love sleeping, this is good news for you. A recent study published in an online issue of Neurology suggests that people with sleep problems showed a rapid decline in brain volume compared to those who slept better. Poor sleep can affect heart health, immune system and even attack brain cells. Lack of sleep can affect your reaction time and bring down your overall performance. So, a good sleep is important for a healthy life.
Watch a 3D movie
According to a recent article published on The Guardian in May, 2015, watching a 3D movie can give your brain a boost. It was interesting to read that research done on Goldsmiths University neuroscientist Patrick Fagan and Professor Brendan Walker of Thrill Laboratory, showed a 11% improvement in their reaction time for about 20 minutes after watching a 3D movie.
Many people find it very useful to visualise the information they study. Next time, to remember a pin for your debit card, try to associate it with an image. For example, you can associate these images/words with numbers:
0 - Ball
1 - The letter I or a stick
2 - Swan
3 - Heart
4 - sailboat
5 - Hook or seahorse
6 - Whistle
7 - Crowbar
8 - Hourglass
9 - Modern question mark
Visualisation is one of the best known methods for remember things.