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Natural Ways to score a Better Memory and Focus
If Words Per Minute is a universally-recognised skill, why shouldn’t the sharpness of your memory or focus be one too? After all, don’t you agree it’s as important in a workplace? Just think about how much time you would save if you didn’t ever have to stop halfway through a task because you….err...oh yeah, forgot what you were doing.
Or how much more efficient meetings would be if you were focused the whole time. Yep, besides the obvious benefit of having a healthier brain, we’re convinced that having a stellar memory and focus should be recognized as the next, lucrative, holistic avenue of upskilling.
If you’re of the same belief, then read on to find out all the natural ways you can next-level your brain function.
- Write things down
This might seem painstakingly obvious. But are you aware of the science and reasoning behind why writing things down helps improve your focus? For one, writing down information lets you visualise and keep track of what you need to achieve that day.
We won’t go all neuroscience’y on you, but essentially when you write something down, it travels to the memory part of your brain - the hippocampus, which gives your notes a greater chance of being remembered.
- Noise cancelling headphones
Clearly we don’t need to go into the science as to how reducing your surrounding sound will help improve your concentration. Duh. But if you don’t already have noise cancelling headphones, we positively insist on investing in some. Why? They’re great for blocking out obnoxious fog-horn laughter which’ll help keep your mind pointed at the task at hand.
Plus, as a side note - noise cancelling headphones are a universal “do not disturb” symbol, so even if you aren’t listening to music, people will leave you be regardless.
- More exercise
One would think that focus is all about staying put and channeling your energy into the singular thing you’re doing, right? Well actually, the best thing for keeping your mind active is actually to get your body moving. The more exercise you do, the more neurotransmitters your body produces, giving your concentration levels a good old boost.
- Nailing the most important meal of the day
When it comes to Instagrammable brekkies, sunny side up and poached eggs will always be the clear winner. But if you want to maintain focus throughout the day, hard-boiled eggs takes the cake. They’re the healthiest way to get your dose of choline - a Vitamin B group nutrient found in yolks which have been linked to improving verbal and visual memory in adults. So much so, studies have shown that adults with high choline diets are less likely to form dementia.
- Wheat bran cereal
Today, we’re giving bran an identity makeover. No longer will it be associated as the nutrient that’s great for that certain bodily function (wink, wink), but in fact, one that improves your memory. That’s right, zinc plays an important role in helping brain cells release neurotransmitters. With the right amount of zinc, signals can easily navigate from one neuron to another strengthening your memory and ability to learn.
- Practicing mindfulness
Not to be confused with meditation, mindfulness is essentially being totally aware of your current situation and surroundings. And while there are lots of ways to practice it, we’ll leave you with our favourite - always return to the present moment.
Basically, if you’re ever in the middle of something and begin to feel anxious about the future or past, simply identify that you’re drifting and recognise that there’s nothing you can do to change it. This will help you mentally return back to what you’re doing and solidify your focus.
So, we sincerely hope you’re still with us ( that’s mindfulness by the way) because we’re about to move on to how to upskill your memory.
- Brain training games
Tetris is a life skill. If you don’t believe us, think about how years of playing has trained you for important tasks like cramming as many dirty dishes into the dishwasher or clothes into your suitcase. But along with that, did you know it also improves your memory?
Studies show Tetris or word-related games like crosswords are proven to help with your memory, sharpen concentration and even problem-solving skills.
So if you ever get the chance to travel back in time, you should explain to Mum that those extra 5 minutes on the Game Boy could be what determines you having an elephant or goldfish memory.
- All things fish
Particularly because fish and fish oil supplements are proven to help improve short-term, working and episodic memory (where you remember past and personal experiences). Because fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DPA, getting a healthy intake helps reduce inflammation in the body which boosts your memory and overall brain function.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
You laugh now, but maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity altogether has proven to decrease the risk of your brain health failing. So as long as you keep in the normal body mass index range, you’re actually making sure your memory is in good shape. A fine figure is just an added bonus.
- Less alcohol
Some of you might know that having a bit too much to drink can result in gaps in your memory. But what you might’ntt know is that continuously drinking can cause long-term memory loss. Alcohol is known to have neurotoxic effects on the brain where binge drinking can actually cause damage to your hippocampus - the key part of your brain that’s responsible for your memory.
- Eat more (dark) chocolate
In our eyes, an appreciation for chocolate prepares you for adulthood. Not just because it’s a great comfort food or an easy way to sneak alcohol (how great are rum balls?). But because chocolate actually helps strengthen your memory.
Straight cocoa or dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has a heap of antioxidants called flavonoids, which stimulate the growth of blood vessels in your hippocampus. So the next time you feel guilty for devouring chocolate like a kid in a candy store, remember, you’re merely prepping for adulthood.
If you’re still reading this, we’d like to formally congratulate you on staying focussed and concentrated throughout. Alternatively, if you’ve been drifting in and out, why not give yourself a few weeks trialling out the natural ways to boost your brain listed above, or check out a list of vitamins and supplements which can help you do the same.