We’ve all been there. We walk into a room and suddenly forget why we’re there. This phenomenon is all too common, so it begs the question, why do so many people suddenly go blank when they enter a new room? Well, research conducted by University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky may just answer that question.  “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains. “Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

So, long story short, our brains tend to separate the time we spend in one room, from time spent in another. When we walk into a new space, we shift all the information we absorbed in the previous room, and store it away for later, since our brains instinctually prioritize taking in new surroundings.  Now if we could just remember why we open the refrigerator door. What to know how to improve your memory? Check out these five easy tips.

  • 1

    GET ORGANIZED

    When we are occupied with too many errands, our house becomes messy, and our notes become disorganized. That is why we have to arrange our personal belongings and tasks to make our lives easy.

    Set a designated spot for your personal belongings such as placing your keys on a hook near your door. Write down your responsibilities, meetings, and family outings in a special notebook, calendar, or cell phone.  Once you are done with an errand, check it off on a to-do list so that you can move on to the next task.

  • 2

    STAY MENTALLY ACTIVE

    Just as doing physical exercise keeps us in shape, we should do mentally stimulating activities to maintain and boost our memory. We can play word games such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles. We can play strategy games such as checkers or chess to work out all parts of our brain and enhance our creativity and problem-solving skills.

    We can also challenge our brain by doing a new hobby, such as playing an instrument. Or, we can learn something new, such as speaking a new language or learning alternate routes when driving. Just make sure to test your brain with new activities to strengthen your neural pathways and improve your mental abilities.

  • 3

    SOCIALIZE REGULARLY

    Socializing and spending time with our family and friends can lower our stress and risk of depression, both of which contribute to memory loss. Take the time to stay in touch with friends and get involved in social activities to keep your brain active.

  • 4

    INCORPORATE A HEALTHY DIET

    Eating a healthy diet can also boost our brain. Consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduce our risk of illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, but these foods can also help us mentally.

    Good nutrition can help increase blood flow to  the brain, which will improve our memory and increase our focus. Protein sources such as fish and eggs can provide nutrients to improve our brain health. Finally,  drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can help all bodily functions, including our brain.

  • 5

    GET ENOUGH SLEEP

    We all know that getting enough hours of sleep is important. However, we tend to neglect it. Sleeping is the easiest and most efficient way of consolidating our memories so that we can remember them. If we don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, then it can affect several of our cognitive processes such as thinking, reasoning, and learning.

    So, make getting enough sleep a priority, especially since adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day.