When it comes to mental health, one of the biggest concerns we face is memory loss. As we age, our ability to remember and retain information declines, leading many of us to worry about how this will impact our lives. Fortunately, there are ways to stop memory loss naturally.
From diet changes to exercise and more, this article explores 11 powerful ways that you can stop or slow down memory loss without relying on medication. Whether you’re looking for a way to protect against age-related memory decline or want to learn more about natural ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, read on to find out how to stop memory loss naturally!
What causes memory loss
There are many different causes of memory loss, including:
- Normal aging – As we get older, it’s normal for our memories to become less sharp. We may have trouble recalling specific details or names, and it may take longer to learn new things. And, although this is not “natural” … a small decline in recalling things is not a major concern, on its own.
- Stress – Feeling stressed can lead to forgetfulness, as our brains become overloaded with information and worries.
- Sleep deprivation – Not getting enough sleep can also impact our ability to remember things, as our brains need time to rest and recover from the day’s events.
- Medications – Some medications can cause memory loss as a side effect, especially if they are taken for a long period of time. If you think your medication is affecting your memory, talk to a holistic doctor about alternative options.
- Alcohol abuse – Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious problems with memory, especially blackouts where you cannot remember what happened during that time period. If you think you might have a problem with alcohol abuse, please seek help from a professional.
Signs of memory loss
Signs of memory loss can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs are:
- Difficulty remembering recent events
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Misplacing items
- Difficulty following instructions
- Forgetting familiar people or places
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if there’s an underlying cause for your memory loss and suggest ways to improve your memory and keep it healthy as you age.
11 ways to stop memory loss naturally
If you’re looking for ways to stop memory loss naturally, there are plenty of options available. Obviously, eating an organic diet and maintaining a physically active lifestyle are two important factors in maintaining brain health, and there are also a number of healthy lifestyle choices you can adopt such as meditation and being mindful that will help improve your memory.
Keep reading for 11 ways to stop memory loss naturally.
1. Be physically active every day
Exercise helps to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, which can improve mental clarity and help to protect against cognitive decline. Exercise not only increases your heart rate, but it also changes the way your brain functions.
Physical activity increases the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help with communication between neurons in the brain. Being physically active can keep your brain from shrinking and can stop memory loss naturally in people who already have symptoms of mild dementia.
2. Keep up social activities
Older adults who are socially isolated have a higher risk of cognitive decline and memory issues. You can stop memory loss naturally and your brain can remain active and healthy as you age by keeping up with social activities.
Staying socially connected is an important tool in promoting cognitive health and maintaining memory as you age. By participating in activities such as joining a club, volunteering, or having regular conversations with family and friends, older adults can help protect themselves from cognitive decline and memory issues.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Getting enough sleep helps the brain to rest and restore itself, which can improve concentration, focus and mood. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, which can help to prevent illness and keep your brain and body working in peak form.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are linked to poor sleep because the brain cannot recharge itself and rid itself of excess proteins. When people don’t get enough deep sleep, harmful proteins build up in their brains that can lead to memory loss or dementia.
To stop memory loss naturally, make sure you get six to eight hours per night of quality sleep, especially between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Establish a consistent schedule and a relaxing bedtime routine to practice good sleep hygiene.
4. Follow the Mediterranean diet
The type of food you eat matters when it comes to learning how to stop memory loss naturally.
Our typical Western diet tends to be full of factory farmed (toxic) meat products, unhealthy fats, and loaded with highly processed, simple sugars. In addition to contributing to a variety of health problems, it also contributes to protein buildup in the brain, which many conventionally trained physicians believe can lead to memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
A study from Weill Cornell Medicine identified a link between the Mediterranean diet and lower protein deposits in the brain, as well as increased brain activity as compared to a Western diet. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods, organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein from fish and poultry.
Chronic stress causes an increase of cortisol in your body, which affects memory and causes other health problems. A key way to stop memory loss naturally is to manage your stress levels.
Make an active effort to reduce stress in your life or manage your reactions to stressful events. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your stress levels, such as:
- Breathing techniques such as meditation and yoga will help you to relax
- Making time for leisure activities, hobbies and spending time with friends
- Regular exercise and staying active
- Getting enough sleep
6. Watch your weight
Being overweight can lead to a number of health problems. But it also can be unhealthy for your brain and cause problems with your memory. Another way to stop memory loss naturally is to manage your weight.
Being overweight can cause inflammation in the body, and this inflammation can lead to a decrease in the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that are essential for memory formation and retention. Therefore, by maintaining a healthy weight, you can help your brain stay healthy and stop memory loss naturally.
7. Stay organized
When we are stressed or exceptionally busy, it’s difficult to remember everything we need to do. Reduce the load on your brain by staying organized and making use of calendars, planners, or to-do lists.
Remember, you don’t have to remember everything! By not worrying you’ve forgotten something, you’re more likely to relax and be able to focus on the important tasks at hand.
8. Limit distractions
Limit distractions, like TV and social media, to help stop memory loss naturally. Too much external input can overload our brain, making it difficult to remember details, especially when those distractions are difficult to ignore. By limiting distractions, we can make better use of our mental resources and retain more information. This can help to sharpen our focus, enabling us to more effectively remember and recall details.
For instance, perhaps you’re studying for an exam or are involved in an important meeting. Turning off your phone during these times can help limit distractions and will help you retain more information than if you were to leave it on and be distracted by incoming notifications.
9. Cut out the sugar and refined carbs
Sugar and refined carbs are not part of a healthy diet. But even more so when it comes to stopping memory loss naturally. In other words, reduce your consumption of pasta, white sugar, cookies, pretzels, bagels and chips, to name a few sugary items.
Numerous studies, like those published in Behavioral Brain Research and in the journal of Scientific Reports, have found that a diet high in refined sugars can lead to impaired brain function. Refined carbs and sugar can cause inflammation in the body, which can damage the memory centers of the brain. Limiting or eliminating them from your diet can help to reduce inflammation and keep your brain functioning at its best.
10. Practice mindfulness
If you find you’re forgetting things – sometimes moments after experiencing them – it may be that you need to be more mindful.
Mindfulness means being aware of what is happening in the present moment and being sympathetic and open to your own thoughts and feelings. When you practice mindfulness, you can remember more of the details of an experience because you are paying attention to all of your senses rather than just one.
For example, if you take a hike, try to be aware of the feeling of the sun on your skin, the smell of the trees and flowers, the sound of the birds singing, and the sight of the grand mountain vista in front of you. Not only will it make the experience more enjoyable, but you’ll remember it better in the future.
11. Cut out bad habits
To stop memory loss naturally it’s time to cut out some of those bad habits. This includes stopping smoking and limiting your intake of alcohol.
People who smoke have a 30% to 50% increase in their risk of developing dementia. And people who drink alcohol excessively have a four times greater risk of developing dementia.
To live your best life and reduce your risk and even stop memory loss naturally, cut out smoking (this includes vaping) and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Putting it all together to stop memory loss naturally
Living a healthy and holistic lifestyle can help you to keep your body and mind working their best. By integrating many of our tips to stop memory loss naturally, you can not only improve the health of your brain, but also your overall health and well-being.
If you’re looking for more in-depth strategies about how to keep your brain in top shape, check out our Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit.