Boost Your Memory in 5 Minutes: 5 Easy Actions for Better Brain Health
So you can stay sharp.
We’ve all been there: You had something important you wanted to tell your friend, but all the sudden, you forgot what it was. There’s nothing more frustrating than that tip-of-your-tongue feeling. Want to improve your memory so you can remember even the little things? Keeping your thinking sharp is easier than you might suspect. Check out these scientific breakthroughs to boost brain health in minutes a day, helping your mind work as though you’re years younger.
Remember why you entered a room.
Ever walk into a room only to forget why? Japanese scientists found a clever “point and call” trick that helps: Point in the direction you’re heading (like toward the kitchen) and say aloud the action you’re about to perform (such as, “I’m turning on the coffee maker”). This aligns your thoughts with your body, boosting short-term memory.
When you need to triple a recipe or figure out a tough Wordle puzzle, sit down next to a window or switch on a reading lamp. Doing so improves your problem-solving skills, suggests a Michigan State University study. Light stimulates the brain’s hippocampus, sweeping away age-related mental cobwebs in a hurry.
British scientists found sniffing objects associated with childhood, like an old hardcover book or a wooden pencil, unlocks memory centers of the brain better than looking at photos. So when you’re blanking on details of a long-ago event, or if you simply want to relive a treasured memory in Technicolor, try this: Grab an item associated with the moment (like vanilla extract that reminds you of baking with Grandma), close your eyes, and breathe it in as you think about the memory. Your memory will snap back into focus.
Make learning easy.
Try holding a tennis ball in your right hand while reading something you want to remember. A PLOS ONE study found squeezing your right hand activates the left hemisphere of the brain, where short-term memory is encoded. To recall this information later, squeeze with your left hand. This activates the right side of the brain, signaling it to cue up what you learned.
If you forgot where you parked your car, stand tall and walk 10 steps while imagining you’re wearing a cape like Wonder Woman. San Francisco State University research in NeuroRegulation suggests the subtle shift in stance triggers a mind-body connection that tells the brain you’re alert, sharpening thinking and recall.
Cozy Keys to a Youthful You
These heated DIY treatments warm you up and reverse winter beauty bothers.
Raw hands? Opt for a thermal olive oil and honey salve. The oil’s antioxidants repair
skin while humectant honey hydrates. To do: Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons honey. Rub onto hands, then cover with warm, damp socks. Let sit for 5 minutes; remove and rinse.
Bloated belly? Try a heated castor oil wrap. Fatty acids amp up circulation to flush excess fluids and toxins. To do: Rub 1 tablespoon castor oil on the belly, then top with a warm, damp washcloth (the heat aids in flushing). Cover with plastic wrap. Wait 30 minutes; remove and rinse. Important to note: Some sources advice against using castor oil wraps if you’re on your period, since it may increase flow.
Thin, brittle hair? Choose a warm coconut milk mask. Its lauric acid plumps strands for
added volume. To do: Warm 1 ½ cups coconut milk, pour over dry hair, and massage into scalp (doing so stimulates hair follicles). Cover with a shower cap and wait 20 minutes; rinse.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.