As we get older, we all struggle with the occasional “senior moment” where we forget something that we know is locked somewhere within our brains. It is believed that our brain is so powerful they can store the equivalent information as three million hours of television inside of it. So it’s no great surprise that sometimes it’s difficult to remember everything that’s been committed to your memory.
There are many ways you can improve your memory but one of the most fun ways is to play games that boost your power of recollection. Neuroscientists have said that the best way to exercise your brain and keep it sharp is to read. Reading is more neurobiologically demanding than looking at images or speaking. It is the brain equivalent of walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift.
Crosswords and Sudoku
Crosswords are a great way to improve your memory. They are a very good cognitive exercise and studies have shown that there is a link between people that habitually do crosswords and a delayed onset of dementia. It’s important to keep your brain challenged though so if you’re finding your regular crossword too easy and are completing them very quickly, it might be time to up the difficulty.
Sudoku has been popular in the UK for a long time now and like crosswords is a staple in most daily newspapers. The mental reasoning required to place the numbers in the correct squares means that your memory gets a good works. As with crosswords, this effect can diminish the better you get. Make sure you start doing harder and harder puzzles to keep benefiting from the workout your brain is getting.
If you buy a daily newspaper, you can get three memory boosting benefits in one place. Once you’ve read the news stories flip to the games page and have a go at the crossword and the Sudoku. Many newspapers have varying difficulties on the game pages so start off with the easier ones and move onto the more difficult ones as soon as you find yourself breezing through them.
The BBC have lots of online resources that they have developed to help everyone improve their memory. These include games that help you remember lists, remember names and also one that helps you remember important dates; good if you are always forgetting your anniversary! All of their games include techniques for improving your score.
If you don’t fancy sitting at a computer to improve your memory, then it might be time to bring out the jigsaw box. A jigsaw works your short-term memory well as it forces your brain to sort through the shapes and colours to create a visual picture. There is an added benefit in that it has also been shown that when you click a piece into place, this causes your body to release dopamine which increases your concentration. No wonder that once you start a jigsaw you just have to finish it!