The human memory is a powerful and mysterious force. Scents and sounds can evoke visions of the past or allow us to recall a loved one. Losing your memory — struggling to recall names or stumbling over well-known telephone numbers — can be distressing. Here are a number of tips to keep your memory healthy and in top shape.

Writing by hand is a great way to help your memory. Writing with a pen or pencil engages your brain in a different way than typing on a computer. You can either copy out a speech your trying to memorize or keep track of your daily to do list by writing in a calendar. If you’ve written it out, you may be able to remember without even checking your list!

Memory is basically the acquisition of new information, and when you have problems concentrating, it becomes vastly more difficult to acquire new information. Most problems with concentration are linked to an Omega-3 deficiency. One effective way to counter this and thereby improve your memory is through the use of fish oils. Incorporating fish oil supplements in your diet can help your memory.

Use the power of positive thinking to help improve your memory. If you tell yourself over and over again that you have a bad memory you soon will come to believe it. If, on the other hand, you tell yourself that you have a great memory, it can cause you to subconsciously change your actions and information processing patterns so that your memory begins to improve.

Try to avoid food high in salt and saturated fats, including fast food. It has been scientifically proven that these foods can lead to carotid artery disease, which cuts off the brain’s oxygen supply. Losing oxygen prevents the part of the brain that holds memory from learning and obtaining information.

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To better commit names to memory, repeat a person’s name after an introduction, and try to come up with something about the person that might help you remember his or her name. If you meet a Bob who mentions that he enjoys fishing, you might associate his name with a bobber like those used on a fishing line, for instance.

To help yourself remember something jot down some notes, say them aloud and keep your notes organized. When you involve different functions of your body such as writing and talking to remember something, those physical activities will help your brain recall more effectively. In addition, the notes serve as a visual memory aid.

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.

A good tip that can help you improve your memory is to pay more attention to your surroundings and to what’s being said. You can’t expect to recall something you’ve learned if you didn’t even pay close attention in the first place. Try to be alert at all times to be able to remember things later.

The importance of getting an adequate amount of shut eye can’t be overemphasized. Many studies support the notion that daily events cannot be committed to memory without adequate sleep. If you can’t concentrate due to poor sleep, committing learned facts to long-term memory will be difficult.

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Learn to relate important new information with existing information in your mind. This will help you expand your memorization abilities. If you connect your short-term memory with knowledge you already have, you will be able to remember things better, and help convert that short-term memory to long-term memory.

When you are trying to learn something new and you want to remember it, associate with something you already know. For instance, let’s say you are learning a new phone number, remember it by thinking of a similar phone number. You have a better chance of keeping new information this way.

In order to increase memory and concentration, consider taking a Fish Oil, or Omega-3, vitamin supplement. Unfortunately, our everyday diets simply do not provide enough Omega-3. However, eating more fish or taking an Omega-3 supplement can help with that deficiency. Studies have shown that school children, experiencing difficulty in concentrating, were given an Omega-3 supplement, which resulted in a significantly increased ability to concentrate.

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.

Work to build a memory tree. If you have something complex that you must remember, work on the basic elements of it first. Specific details become the limbs branching off the trunk. Smaller details are the leaves that decorate the branches. The mind remembers things visually better that it does through words. This kind of organizing can be helpful.

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Learn how to use mnemonic devices. Mnemonic devices can be the association of a concept with a familiar object or remember acronyms or rhymes. Create your own mnemonic devices: you need to make sure they are meaningful and that you will remember what you associated the information with later on.

Rehearse the information you need to memorize. You should not learn it by heart and recite it, but learn it, digest it and rephrase it. Every time you rehearse the information you need to remember, you are ingraining it into your long term memory. Use your own words to rephrase the information.

As you’ve read in this article, keeping your memory healthy and strong is easy and can be fun! Use these tips to keep your mind sharp and enjoy the benefits of always having the name you need on the tip of your tongue, being able to find your keys, and remembering the milk!