Memory plays an enourmous role in performance in the workplace, the learning of new skills, and promotion of healthy brain functioning. With information coming at us from all angles, our brains can often get muddled and overloaded, making us miss vital cues and details, ultimately decreasing our cognitive development. However the brain can be trained, and there are daily activities and habits that promote memory and concentration. MH spoke to Dr Mike Pukanic, the founder of Fontanella, to get his top every day hacks that can be employed to combat cognitive decline.
Consume brain-boosting foods
Your brain needs fuel to function at an optimal level and a diet rich in wholefoods is a great way to avoid memory loss, suggests Pukanic. Consuming a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, avocado and broccoli as well as wholegrains will have a positive effect on your ability to focus and retain information.
Get enough sleep
“Consistently sleeping well is also a direct route towards maintaining a healthy hormonal balance,” affirms Dr. Ron Ehrlich, author of A Life Less Stressed. Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Pukanic both recommend 7-9 hours sleep for optimal health. According to Pukanic, sleep deprivation can inhibit memory, critical thinking and problem-solving skills which are skills that all are essential to working effectively.
Any type of exercise that pumps blood throughout your whole body is great for brain function. “Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress,” said Jeff Edwards, Associate Professor of Physiology and Developmental Biology at BYU. Edwards and his team conducted research into the beneficial effects of exercise on the hypothalamus functioning in the brain, and it’s effects in reducing stress and boosting memory, finding a direct link.
Train your brain
Ensuring that your brain is stimulated daily will help improve memory says Pukanic. If you are learning new skills often and constantly challenging yourself, your brain function will benefit. Student’s studying any profession will be learning new skills and challenging themselves often but for those who are not students, there are other ways to train your brain such as learning a new language and/or playing musical instruments.