6 Simple ways in which mindfulness can boost your memory

The other day during a leadership workshop one of a participant asked me, “What is the most vital ingredient essential for a personal and professional success?

Do you remember those old Hindi movies where the hero wakes up in a hospital bed with a bandage on his head after a mysterious injury? He looks at his worried relatives and friends and asks, “Where am I?” and “Who are all of you?” The doctor then announces, “I’m sorry, he has lost his memory.”

It’s a funny and ironic scene that shows how unpredictable and fragile memory can be. But it also reminds us how important memory is for our personal and professional success.

Manish Behl, India’s foremost expert in mindfulness and emotional intelligence, providing evidence-based solutions to individuals, leaders, and organizations to enhance performance and well-being states why mindfulness is important for memory.

Why Memory Matters

Memory is the ability to store and retrieve information that we have learned or experienced. Memory helps us to:

· Learn from our experiences and apply our knowledge

· Make decisions and solve problems

· Perform tasks and skills

· Enjoy life and have fun

Without memory, we would not be able to function well in our daily lives. Memory shapes our experiences, guides our choices, and empowers us to thrive in a world full of knowledge and connections.

How Mindfulness Improves Memory

But memory is not the only work of the brain. The brain also performs other tasks, such as perception, attention, reasoning, emotion, creativity, and more. All of these functions are interrelated and depend on each other. So how can we improve our memory and keep our brain healthy? One of the ways to do that is through mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. Mindfulness can be cultivated through various techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, or body scans.

Mindfulness can improve memory in several ways:

· It reduces stress, which can impair memory formation and retrieval

· It increases focus, which can help encode and recall information more effectively

· It enhances brain structure, which can increase the volume and connectivity of brain areas related to memory|

6 Mindfulness practices for better memory

So how can we practice mindfulness to boost our memory? Here are six simple and powerful practices that you can try:

1. Focus attention meditation: This is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with openness and curiosity. You can do this by sitting quietly and following your breathing as best as you can. When your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breathing. A study found that practicing mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes a day improved concentration and working memory.

2. Mindful breathing: This is the practice of focusing on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths whenever you feel stressed or distracted. Mindful breathing can calm your mind, regulate your emotions, and oxygenate your brain. A study found that mindful breathing improved memory and attention in older adults.

3. Mindful movement: This is the practice of moving your body with awareness and intention. You can do this by doing yoga, tai chi, or walking. Mindful movement can stimulate blood flow, release endorphins, and integrate sensory information. A study found that mindful movement improved memory and cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

4. Sleep and wake up on time: Sleep is essential for memory consolidation, which is the process of transferring information from short-term to long-term memory. Sleep also helps clear out toxins from the brain that can impair memory. A study found that sleep deprivation impaired the ability to form new memories in young adults. So make sure you get enough sleep and wake up on time. Mindfulness can help you sleep better by reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

5. Play brain games: Brain games are activities that challenge and stimulate your cognitive skills, such as memory, attention, logic, or speed. Playing brain games can help you improve your memory by making it more flexible and adaptable. You can play crosswords, word recall games or Tetris that train your memory. A study found that playing brain games improved memory and attention in older adults more than watching educational videos.

6. Take mindful mental rest: Just as physical rest is essential for the body, mental rest is important for memory consolidation. Take some time to sit in silence and do nothing. Just relax and observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help your mind to process and strengthen your memories.

Memory is a vital skill that helps us learn, perform, and enjoy life. But memory can also be affected by various factors, such as stress, aging, or mental illness. Therefore, it is important to find ways to enhance and protect our memory.

Mindfulness is a powerful practice that can improve our memory and quality of life. By practicing mindfulness regularly, we can enhance our cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and overall health. You can also join a mindfulness program that can help you build a practice. Or you can reach out to me if you need any further help.

Remember, mindfulness is not only good for your memory, but also for your happiness and well-being. So start practicing mindfulness today and see the benefits for yourself!

Excerpts from article published in  Mirchi Plus

About the Writer


Manish Behl: World Renowned Mindfulness Master & Leadership Guru

Manish Behl, a globally acclaimed mindfulness and emotional intelligence expert, makes this your reality. Ranked among the world’s top 10 mindfulness teachers, he empowers leaders and individuals to unlock their full potential.

He is an expert in transforming stress into focus, anxiety into calm, and negativity into purpose. He is the visionary founder of  Mindfulness India Summit, Asia’s largest mindfulness and emotional intelligence summit, and  founded theMindful Science Centre – a hub for research, development, and training in mindfulness and leadership 

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