Improving your memory is as easy as improving on one’s maths or foreign language skills, by simply practicing true memory building exercises. Human Memory is not static and unchanging.
Humans have two kinds of memory – short-term and long-term memory. Short-term Memory is what our brain uses to store information needed right away, like the name of someone you just met. Research has shown that the short-term memory’s capacity is about seven pieces of information. After that, something has to go.
The long-term memory is what our brain uses to store things you don’t need to remember instantly. When you prepare for test, quizzes or exams, that’s the long-term memory at work. We usually store memorable moments like weddings and family gatherings in our long-term memory. How do you improve your memory? read on to find out.
Your Brain Houses Your Memory
Our memory forms part of our brain. So anything that contributes to the improvement of your brain health may also have a positive impact on your memory. Physical exercise and engaging in novel brain-stimulating activities like a crossword puzzle or Sudoku are the proven methods for helping you keep your brain healthy.
Note that, a healthy brain is a healthy body, eating and keeping stress down not only help your mind to focus on new information, but also keep you healthy too. Getting a good night’s sleep is also important for your well-being.
Improving Your Memory
To improve your memory you need to focus on what you’re doing in order to encode the information more strongly in your brain. Memory enlarges our world. Without it, we would lack a sense of continuity and each morning encounter a stranger staring back in isolation; we could neither learn from the past nor anticipate the future. Here are some tips to help you improve your memory:
“Most ‘memory failures’ actually represent failures inattention,” says the book mysteries of the mind. Mostly, people perform multiple activities. That is, they often fail to pay attention to the one thing that will help them improve their memory. Pay attention to the task at hand. What can help you pay attention?. Find interested in what you are doing and if possible take notes. Note-taking do not only focuses the mind but also enables a listener to be able to review the material learned later.
Categorize similar concepts or related ideas. Books have chapters and outlines recommended as a studying method in schools. For instance, a shopping list is easier to remember when you categorized the items. Also, you can divide the information into chunks of not more than seven items and focus on studying those chunks into individual pieces. By carefully organizing the materials to be studied will help your brain better encode the information in the first place. Finally, it may be helpful to put the list into a certain order, perhaps alphabetical.
Make a mental picture of what you want to remember. You might also find it useful to draw it or map it out. Visualization makes use of different parts of your brain. To remember the name of a person you met for the first time, it may help to look the person in the eye while you repeat the name and offer a handshake. By doing so, you will have to engage 4 out of your 5 senses. The more senses you use, the deeper the information is embedded.
Connect The Dots
Most often we forget to try and make associations until later. However, research shows that the memory improves when we try and association events with when we first get the information.
One reason why most people who want to learn and remember something repeat it over and over again is because repetition seems to work for them. It helps not to study intensively, though. It is advisable to repeat information spaced out over a longer period of time.
Use Mnemonic Devices
A mnemonic is a strategy or device that helps us to store information in the long-term memory and recall it when needed. They help us remember complicated pieces of information through imagery, acronyms, rhyme or song. This technique encompasses the principles of organization, visualization, and association with something familiar such as a landmark or an object.