Anyone that has ever lost their keys, forgot what they were supposed to get at the grocery store or arrived at the wrong time for a doctor appointment knows that memory can be tricky. You may always be able to recite all 50 American states, what year your children or siblings were born and what you had for dinner last night, but can you remember how many cars you passed on your drive home? Or how many emails you’ve read in the past week? In this article, we’ll give you a few strategies to improve your memory and help you do just that.

Take advantage of social networking sites to remember birthdays. Take the time to invite all your friends to join you on your social networking site, and be sure to ask them when their birthdays are and enter this information in the birthday reminder program provided so that you will always be notified in advance.

If you want to have a better long-term memory, then you need to get in the practice of regular stretching and other exercise. These exercises keep the brain’s arteries open, and this is important because the brain is responsible for 15 percent of your body’s blood flow. Stretching also increases energy, flexibility and relaxation, which all help towards improved long-term memory as well.

In order to improve your memory, it is important that you pay attention. Your mind will never learn how to memorize things if it is distracted by other things. For example, if you are studying or working, do so in a room with no television or other things that could attract you.

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It is important that you take steps to keep your memory in shape throughout the years. Diet is crical in this regard. It has been shown that getting enough folic acid in your diet can help fight memory loss. Foods rich in folic acid include many beans and legumes, leafy greens, fortified bread and cereals, citrus juices and more.

Stay socially active to keep your memory healthy. Social interactions improve your state of mind, which has the effect of making you more alert and receptive to learning things. When you spend a lot of time alone, or are depressed, the brain stagnates and doesn’t form connections, which are vital to learning and memory. Exciting and interesting conversations with friends and family helps stimulate and exercise your brain, which then helps you improve your memory.

To jog your memory on a specific thing, try injecting some humor through association. Humor makes learning more fun and you will find it is easier to remember things later.

Try to relate new information you need to remember to information you already know. Creating these ties can greatly boost your new intelligence being committed to your own long-term memory. Memory thrives on this process of relating a new bit of knowledge to one already secured.

When trying to remember something, incorporate as many of your senses as possible. The more sense you use when making a memory, the easier it will be to recall at a later date. You can see this process in action every time a familiar smell reminds you of something from your past.

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If you are having issues with remembering things, you may want to try relaxing techniques like yoga or meditation. When your body is relaxed, so is your mind which allows you to easily learn and remember things. Working your mind and body to hard will make memorizing things much worse.

If memory loss or simply poor memory is your problem perhaps an Omega 3 deficiency is at the heart of the problem. Try taking an Omega 3 supplement, or a medication like Lovaza to help with this. Researchers have discovered in Britain that children who were supplemented with Omega 2 were more focused and had better memory.

Aid your memory by organizing facts into topic sets. Create outlines of study materials that are based on similar topics rather than when you originally learned that fact. Your brain remembers things better if they go together. By grouping similar concepts and topics together, you increase your chances of remembering those items later.

When trying to commit a long list of information to memory, it is usually better to arrange the information in chunks or smaller units and categories to help make the information easier to remember. As an example, it is easier to remember a telephone number as three units of three, three, and four numbers rather than a long string of ten numbers. The same tactics work when remembering social security numbers and computer passwords.

Utilize all of your senses. You may have already heard that smell is a powerful sense in relation to your memory. This is true. When trying to recall something, don’t just look for a picture of it in your mind. Try to remember how it smelled or felt or even tasted.

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Draw a picture! If you are having trouble remembering something – try doodling! Drawing relaxes your mind, opens it up. It doesn’t matter if you are a terrible artist. Just scribbling on a piece of scrap paper will do. Your thoughts will feel more organized and memories will come to you much easier.

Reduce stress in your life to improve your memory. Unrelieved stress can cause your body to produce so much cortisol that it permanently damages your hippocampus, which is the memory center of the brain. Other stress chemicals can interfere with your ability to store information, concentrate, or recall memories from earlier.

Before you make a commitment to improve your memory, be sure you are all ready to do so and keep an open mind. Some people’s memories will not improve because they are not willing to try certain techniques given to them. Tell yourself that with enough hard work, your memory will work fine in no time!

Now that you have these strategies, try using them every day and see how your memory improves. Chances are you’ll still remember all 50 states and you won’t know the exact number of cars that you passed on your drive home but can you remember what you had for dinner now?