Struggling to improve your memory power? Not sure where to start? What if I told you it’s easier to improve your memory than you think? In fact, you can you can improve your memory in under one week- yes really! Read my complete guide on how to improve your memory power to find out how( plus get my FREE downloadable foods to eat to improve memory list)
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The human brain is fascinating. I don’t know why it never made it to the list of the wonders of the world. It controls thoughts, memory, vision, touch, motor skills, temperature, and many other processes that regulate the body.
As we grow older it becomes easier to forget things. For instance where you left your key or the names of your colleagues or yoga trainer. And while this is completely normal, it can be annoying. Many things including genetics, diet, and lifestyle have an impact on memory.
Here are a few fun facts about memory:
- Left-handed people have better memories.
- There is no limit to what your brain can store and remember.
- Taking a picture of something makes your memory of it worse.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is said to have had an incredible memory.
- Walking through a door prompts the brain to forget.
So, how do you keep your memory sharp? Here are some of the most effective tips to improve memory:
1. Relate new things with what you already know
Associating new concepts with stuff you already know makes it easier for your brain to understand them. Whenever you are studying unfamiliar or complex material, relate it to something you are familiar with.
In junior classes, instructors teach addition and subtraction with this method. For instance, ‘You have 5 apples then you eat 2, how many apples are you left with?’
To improve your memory, try linking new information to old information. This way new information will hardly ever sound like Greek.
2. Read aloud
Remember how we used to read texts from our literature books out loud for the classroom? It helps with recall. This is a simple method to boost memory and is even more effective in younger individuals.
You are more likely to remember something if you read it out loud because reading text aloud helps get it into long-term memory.
3. Visualize concepts
Most people benefit from visualization. You are more likely to remember the contents of a book with drawings and charts compared to one with just words typed in a tiny, boring font.
Pay close attention to graphs, pie diagrams, photographs, flow charts, drawings, and other graphics in your books. You can also create your own visual cues as you study.
When you are creating visual cues, make them engaging, use simple shapes, only include the main ideas, use simple language, and use a variety of colored pens, and colorful sticky notes.
4. Avoid cramming
Cramming is a common practice. We mostly resort to cramming when we don’t have enough time to prepare for a test which is often a result of poor time management. And since you still want to pass your exams you cram concepts instead of understanding them.
Strive to study regularly and avoid the last-minute rush. This way you will be able to remember concepts more clearly and boost your memory.
5. Strengthen your brain muscle
The brain is a muscle. And like other muscles, it needs to be trained. Several activities can help challenge your brain and improve your concentration and memory. Try playing fun brain exercises for memory like sudoku, chess, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, math games, and logic games.
Learning new things may also help sharpen your brain. You could pick up skills like playing the violin, knitting, crocheting, or learning a new language. Challenge your brain by reading a variety of books, from contemporary fiction to romance to mystery.
6. Focus your attention
Distractions make it difficult to focus on what we are doing. For example, you won’t be able to get through more than a page of a novel if you have the TV on or are texting.
The inability to focus may result in lesser information entering your short-term memory which consequently reduces the amount of information that can be transformed into long-term memory.
So, try and focus your attention on your current task. Listen keenly during conversations, remove any distractions when working or studying, stick to your schedule, and work or conduct meetings in a quiet environment.
7. Physical exercise
Exercise has benefits for both your physical and mental health. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and other organs in the body. It also increases the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and improves the development of neurons resulting in improved brain health.
150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running is recommended for adults.
If you are too busy and can’t spare too much time for exercise, squeeze in a few 15-minute walks throughout the day.
8. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important as it allows the body to rest and recover. Poor sleep quality is associated with poor memory.
Sleep plays an essential role in memory consolidation, a process in which temporary memory is converted into long-term memory. However, excessive sleep may result in memory and cognitive impairment.
Health Experts recommended that adults should get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
9. Use mnemonics
Mnemonic devices are clues of any sort that help us recall information. It could be anything from acronyms to sentences to rhymes. You can even come up with a song or poem. Try and incorporate positive imagery and humor to keep things fun.
One common mnemonic I remember from my undergraduate studies is ‘Medical Schools Let Fun People In” to memorize the branches of the internal jugular vein (from inferior to superior). These branches are M: middle thyroid vein, S: superior thyroid vein, L: lingual vein, F: facial vein, P: pharyngeal vein, and I: inferior petrosal sinus.
That’s right! One could use mnemonics especially when there is just too much you need to remember.
Other activities to improve memory worth noting include; socializing with friends, meditating, managing stress, drinking alcohol in moderation, and drinking plenty of water.
Diet is also important for brain health. Avoid too much added sugar, eat a diet balance, and try anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, grapes, cherries, avocados, fatty fish, broccoli, cocoa, and green tea.
Just like other skills memory can be improved with practice and healthy habits. If you happen to notice that your memory loss affects your ability to do simple everyday tasks, reach out to your doctor.
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