With concentration levels fading by the day and our current social-media and digital lives allowing us to communicate in (only) less than 280 Characters, It’s barely a surprise that the Human species concentration levels are just a fraction of our ancestors. From being spoonfed that last iota of information via Google to having an app for all our events – In a certain sense, the human Brain is de-evolving its memory faculties by finding ways to outsource your menial tasks to the numerous electronic gadgets around us. It becomes imperative that we continue to exercise our memory muscle every now and then to prevent to suffer from disuse atrophy and become slaves to the gadgets that we are supposed to own.
Here are few tips and tricks to help you improve your memory (and concentration) :
Exercise and Meditation
Meditation is the ultimate detox to your cluttered mind. Right from the frustrations of having to deal with road-rage to the almost anything -Meditation relaxes your mind and help restructure the neurons towards more consistency and increased COHERENCE. Meditation has been unanimously approved to help you control the sole-factor responsible for our concentration – A rhythmic and periodic breathing rate. When a control over our breath is achieved it not only helps us concentrate more but also helps us absorb and retain information with much ease. Meditation along with the use of Isochronic Tones and Binaural Beats has shown real promise in patients with PTSD and ADH/D .
High Intensity Exercise is a one-stop shop for both your Mental and Physical well-being. Apart from maintaining a healthy Cardiovascular System, HIIT rushes oxygenated blood to your brain almost instantaneously – Allowing for increased metabolism at the cellular level and quicker metabolism of the by-products. (By-Products of Metabolism retard the brain’s “computing” capacity.)
The Papez Circuit and Hippocampus – Sites of Memory Formation
Responsible for memory formation – Papez circuit and Hippocampus communicate with the help of neurotransmitters Acetylcholine(ACh) and Glutamate. The Papez circuit is a feature in most memory-enhancing nootropics experiments and forms the basis for therapy in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Glutamate supplements will provide the Hippocampus with that most necessary “Raw Material” to not only form short-term transient memories but also convert them into long term memories when the need arises.
Micronutrients and Healthy Foods
Micronutrients like Vitamins (A,B,E) and essential amino-acids (L-Tryptophan) are very important for reducing inflammation and maintaining brain function even during stressful times. Substances like Selenium and Zinc though required in very small amounts are known to preserve cognition and enhance memory formation. Fish-oil is among the best superfoods for neurons in the brain as it increases the robustness of the entire central nervous system. Avocado, Kale and Wheatgrass are other widely-known superfoods that provide healthy fats and reduce inflammation all over the body.
Brain-Activities to “Jog” your Brain-parts
Engaging in activities like Puzzle-solving and Word-Cross (though archaic) allow for using different areas of your brain simultaneously. Over-the Board Games like Chess are known to increase IQ points across all age-groups. When you use different areas of your brain simultaneously, memory formation and its usage over any period of time becomes surprisingly easy. It’s no wonder that people who indulge in hobbies like Painting and other creative pursuits are generally more quick to grasp concepts. This has been attributed to the simultaneous multiple area brain use.
Mnemonics, Graphs and Our Brain’s love for Optical Beauty
Quicker recall is a given when you read from Flow-charts, Graphs like Pie-charts and various other mind-maps. Our brain has a strong instinct for pattern-recognition and when this becomes readily available the mind grasps, stores, remembers and uses that memory with very little inertia. This is amongst the most utilitarian techniques available today to increase our memory.
Reduced Alcohol Intake and Quit Smoking
While nicotine can help you concentrate in the short-term, cigarette-addiction’s long-term effects are devastating. Cigarette smoke irreversibly damage the brain’s gray-area neurons. Alcoholism above your country’s “safe limits” also results in inflammation in the extremely sensitive neurons of the Hippocampus and various other parts. Both alcohol and smoking ruin the micronutrient profile of the brain(Discussed above).