Our daily tasks and habits can play a role in our memory and ability to stay focused. As we age, maintaining our focus and memory can be challenging. The food choices you make, along with your lifestyle habits, can either enhance or diminish your ability to focus and retain information. Below are five lifestyle habits to help you to boost your memory and enhance your focus.
- Choose nutrient dense foods. Select a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, healthful fats, and different herbs and spices. Fatty fish that contain omega 3’s, such as salmon or tuna, help to build brain and nerve cells that are helpful for memory and learning. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which is beneficial for brain health. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide a vast array of nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, along with carotenoids and flavonoids. Berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, are both high in flavonoids which have shown promising results in maintaining brain health. Finally, sage, turmeric, and ginkgo biloba are herbs and spices that may also improve cognitive functioning, which can easily be added to your favorite recipes. To read more about ways to boost your memory by eating right, view this article from Harvard Health publishing titled “Boost your memory by eating right”.
- Physical Activity. Whether you enjoy intentional physical activity like yoga or weightlifting or would rather go outside on a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a nice hike in nature, physical activity helps you to focus. Have you noticed in the middle of your day you are in a brain fog, but after you take a 5-10 minute walk the creative ideas begin to flow much easier than before? Activity improves the grey matter in your brain, which helps to control memory and intelligence.
- Manage your stress. If you are stressed it may be challenging to focus, let alone retain information for future use. Meditation helps you to stay present in the moment, which can help you to actively focus on what is important and set aside information that is not important. When you meditate regularly, you strengthen your ability to retain important information and accomplish goals.
- Get quality sleep. When you get adequate and good-quality sleep, your brain is refreshed. which enhances your ability to learn and retain information. On the contrary, when you are tired you may notice how easy tasks seem more complicated resulting in you making more mistakes. Good quality sleep improves your focus. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of sleep for your health, read more about it on this Cecelia Health blog titled “Why Good Sleep Matters for Good Health”.
- Incorporate activities for brain health. Whether you are playing a game for brain health or being intentional each day by challenging yourself to actively listen to others, you are strengthening your brain. There are several brain health and memory games available to intentionally challenge your brain. Incorporating active listening by setting aside distractions and maintaining eye contact when speaking with others is another way to maintain and strengthen your focus.
Maintaining your focus as you age can be challenging, however, there are habits you can begin to enhance your ability to focus and retain information, such as choosing nutrient dense foods, moving more, meditating, getting adequate sleep, and incorporating activities for brain health. Begin enhancing your focus and memory today by selecting at least one lifestyle habit to incorporate into your day.