Improve Your Memory by Changing Your Behavior?


Did you know that it is your behavior that sometimes affects how well you are able to form new memories?  The term “memories” not only refers to memories from your past known as your long-term memory, it also refers to your short-term memory.  Your short-term memory is where you keep information like phone numbers, list, names, dates, etc.  Everyone can benefit from improving their memory so they can more easily remember this kind of information.

Most of the ways that you can change your behavior in order to improve your memory are easy.  For example, some research indicates that reading aloud can help you to remember the information that you are reading about better.  For some people, speaking and hearing words helps the information to connect better in their brain.

Also, people’s memory and alcohol have an interesting relationship.  Although more research needs to be done, there is evidence that light to moderate alcohol consumption can improve your memory and cognition. Too much drinking handicaps the memory but, some studies have found that moderate drinkers do better on certain tests of memory than nondrinkers or heavy drinkers.  In addition, one of the flavonoids in red wine that’s believed to have special benefits for blood vessels and, in turn, memory, is also found in red grape juice, making this behavioral change reasonable for anyone of any age.

It is also important to note that when stress, including anxiety or anger, enters our lives, parts of the brain that are responsible for memory are slowly eaten away.  Depression is another way that memory is affected.  In fact, many times depression is misidentified as a memory problem since one of the main symptoms of the condition is an inability to concentrate.  When an individual does not have the ability to focus on their schoolwork or their job, often times they feel as if they are constantly forgetting things.  The real reason they are so “forgetful” is because they are not able to concentrate long enough to learn their tasks in the first place.  Plus, depression affects the types of things a person is able to remember.  Everyone’s brain is selective about which memories make it into long-term storage, but people with depression seem to only be able to remember negative memories. 

Another way you can change your behavior to improve your memory is through increasing the amount that you exercise.  Exercise not only exercises the body, it exercises the mind as well.  In order for the brain to function properly it depends on energy received through a constant intake of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream.  When those much needed nutrients do not arrive, the brain’s ability to work is compromised.  Studies have shown that the more physically active a person is, the greater his or her cognitive performance is.

While anyone can learn simple tricks in order to improve their memory, that is only part of the solution.  Sometimes it takes changing your behavior in order to improve your memory and get on a path to improve your life.