They say that, “you can’t teach an old dog, new tricks” but scientists have discovered that this old adage is far from the truth. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, our brain can create new neural pathways, change existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.
This incredible ability of our brain to reshape itself works in the same way when it comes to learning and memory. You can use the natural power of neuroplasticity to improve your learning abilities and to improve your memory no matter how old you are.
1- Do Brain Exercises: Our memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the easier you will be able to remember information. You don’t have to do all the brain exercises. The best exercises always break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways. Do something new. No matter what, any activity that you’re unfamiliar with. Because if you’re good at something, it won’t a good brain exercise.
2- Have a Laugh: We all know that laughing is the best medicine. Contrary to other emotional reactions which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “laughter help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”
Laugh in every opportunity. Spend more time with fun people. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Read a funny book. You can always find a way to laugh if you really want to.
3- Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule: Go to bed at the same time every night and try to get up at the same time each morning. Don’t break this routine even on holidays and weekends. After a few weeks you will be surprised to find that your sleeping problem is completely over and you have a better memory. At least 1 hour before you sleep, stay away from the TV, computer, phone screen, and don’t drink caffeine in the evening.
4- Take Time for Your Friends and Family: Spending time with friends and family is so important. Studies have proven that spending quality time with the friends and family comes with cognitive benefits. Having meaningful friendships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health.
5- Keep Your Stress Under Control: Stress is our brain’s biggest enemy. Over time, chronic stress kills brain cells and damages the Hippocampus, the part of our brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. To reduce the stress don’t suppress your feelings, give yourself a short break during the day and meditate.