Memory is a wonderful attribute of being human. It makes us who we are since we use it to retain knowledge about our past experiences. Without it we would not be capable of learning new skills and retaining information necessary to become a productive member of our world. To help deal with the frustrations that come with a declining memory, we have provided some practical and easy tips to follow.
Pay careful attention to what you want to remember to ensure the information is retained in your long-term memory. Distractions, such as music and television, prevent you from paying the required amount of attention to the material. Failure to concentrate will result in the information being lost and not committed to memory.
It is easier to remember information if you organize the material into related groups, before trying to commit it to memory. Making an outline is another good way to organize the material to be studied. This is similar to how your brain organizes information and will make recall simpler.
In order to improve your memory, try doing more aerobic exercise. Recent studies have shown that high intensity cardio workouts can actually help you grow more brain cells in your hippocampus, the portion of your brain responsible for memory. Some exercises that you may want to try include running, biking, kickboxing and swimming.
We are more likely to remember something that happens to us when we are around other people than when we are alone. People are drawn to others, as a result we remember our time with them, rather than when we are alone. That’s why study groups work so well.
Support your memory by eating more fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is full of antioxidants, substances that have been shown to help prevent damage to your brain cells. Try eating richly colored fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, apricots, bell peppers and blueberries since they tend to have the highest concentrations of antioxidants.
Use regular study sessions over a period of time rather than a single cramming session. Studies have shown that if you study material over a course of a few days, you have a better chance of remembering it than if you cram in a single night. So instead of cramming the night before a test, establish a regular study time each night or every other night.
To make your skills sharper, you should play some memory games. These games are engaging and entertaining and have the added benefit of improving your long-term memory. You will also be able to improve your attention span and concentration. You can play many memory games for free online.
Regularly challenging your brain can help you improve your memory. Learning new, complex tasks such as a foreign language or how to play a musical instrument will help your brain stay active. Remember the old saying “Use it or lose it?” The same thing’s true for your mind!
Try to avoid alcohol if you would like to improve your memory. It has been scientifically proven that alcohol kills the cells from the part of the brain that absorbs information. However, most research seems to prove that having one or two glasses of wine a day is okay for the 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.
If you feel that your memory is suffering, try to reduce stress, anger, and especially depression in your life. One of the primary symptoms of depression is actually an inability to concentrate, which makes it extremely difficult to acquire and retain memories. See a professional if you think this could apply to you.
Sleep at least eight hours per night. If you want to strengthen your memory, you need to get adequate sleep. When you lack concentration, it can be difficult to retain your memories over the long term.
If you want to improve your brain’s ability to create and retain memories, one way of doing this is to often recount stories. Story telling is a way of practicing having the brain recall a memory in as much detail as possible, which is similar to working out a muscle group. It’s also fun!
Scent has a huge impact on memory. If you keep something that you enjoy smelling right next to where you keep things, you will have an easier time recalling where the object is. For example, if you keep a plug in air freshener right next to where you keep you wallet when you are home, you will have no problem remembering where it is.
You need to make sure you focus on the information that you are trying to remember. If you are trying to remember a shopping list, try visualizing the items or write them down to jog your memory. Take your time to repeat information after you hear it so it has a chance of sticking with you.
Older people who are worried about losing memory can use electronic devices such as the Wii to help with memory. These types of interactive video games have designed games that are actually geared to help improve memory like Nintendo’s Brain Age. Also the stimulation of working with the puzzles involved in video games is a great brain stimulator.
We all want to have the most accurate memory possible, but as time goes by some of us are affected by memory loss. In addition, Alzheimers disease has become increasingly common, and there does not seem to be an effective treatment at this point. Research has made some advances, but the exact cause is still unknown. Whether you have lost some of your memory as a symptom to an illness or just due to the natural aging process, the above-mentioned tips will help improve or even sharpen it.