Brain surgeons have discovered that we retain a memory of every sensory impression received in our lives. But as we age, we may have increasing difficulty in bringing these memories to the surface when we need them. We know the information is stored in our brain. Here are some tips to help tap into this reservoir.
One thing that has been proven to help maintain your memory and brain function over time, is socialization. Having a strong social group and lots of interaction and conversation with family and friends will help to keep your memory flowing freely both now and as you age too.
If you are having memory problems, try taking fish oil. Recent studies have shown a link between problems with concentration and memory and a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty acids. One of the best Omega-3 sources is fish oil. You can either take the oil in the liquid form by the spoonful, or opt for fish oil pills instead.
It’s a well known fact that stress is hard on a person’s body, but it is also very hard on a person’s memory. Chronic stress is detrimental to brain cells as it destroys them as well as the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that retrieves old memories as well as makes new ones. Practicing stress reducing techniques are vital in maintaining a good memory.
A great way to improve your memory is to focus your attention upon the material that you are attempting to study and memorize. Since attention is a major component of memory, it must be employed to move information from short-term memory into long-term memory. To make sure you give your undivided attention to your study material, remove distractions such as music or television from your study environment.
When trying to remember any type of information the key is repetition. The more something is repeated in your mind the more likely you are to keep it in your long term memory. For example, if you meet someone new, repeat their name in your head at least three times while looking at them.
Although it is a fact that many people do not know, chewing gum can improve your memory. Medical professionals have found that the motion of chewing gum slightly increases your heart rate. Even the slightest increase in heart rate can help supply more oxygen to the brain, thus improving memory.
Getting more of your senses involved will greatly aid you in remembering! Studies suggest speaking and hearing something will reinforce your memory of it so try reading things out loud to yourself if it is important for you to remember or as a general exercise for your memory. You will see the information, say it and hear it thereby tripling your sensory exposure to it!
Improve memory with mnemonics. Use an acronym to remember lists of related things. For example, ‘Homes’ is used to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. The first letter of the words in a sentence can represent a list of letters that you have to remember. For example, “Every good boy does fine” can be used to memorize the notes on the lines of a treble clef: E,G,B,D and F.
If you are finding your memory is lacking it may be because of a lack of sleep. As such try getting more rest. Scientists believe that when we are asleep it is when our brain sorts through the events of our lives and files them away, like a librarian and a filing cabinet. They also believe this is why we dream.
When you are trying to commit something to memory, it’s important to stay in the current moment as much as you possibly can. Try to avoid the urge to focus on the past or the future as you are learning. Make every effort to focus your attention on the material at hand, and you will retain it better.
Carefully focus on what you are trying to memorize. This is especially important when you are studying. Never try to multitask. Turn off the television, turn off the radio. Just focus on what you need to memorize and the knowledge you need to retain. Many things can distract you without you even realizing it.
Try to memorize things in sets of 7. According to studies, the human capacity for Short Term Memory, or (STM) is 7, add or minus 2. This is why humans memorize things best in groups of 7. This is also why, for example, your phone number is seven digits.
Pay attention to the environments that pop up in your memories. These locations may enhance your learning abilities. Return to these types of locations, or replicate their effects, in order to bring about the memory-enhancing effect of those places. Many people find that a certain level of background noise, for example, is vital to their learning.
Move around. Movement can help you remember things. If you are trying to learn something, repeat it to yourself while pacing or even while you are working out. Moving around can also be very helpful when you are trying to recall something you are having difficulty remembering. Full body movement will help your memory.
Try exercise to improve your brain function. Some studies have shown that aerobic exercise can actually help you to grow brand new brain cells. These cells are grown in the brain’s hippocampus. Aerobic exercise can be as simple as going for a run. If you prefer a Zumba class that works too.
Try visual association to help with memory issues. The technique basically entails putting a picture with each phrase you want to memorize, making remembering that phrase easier. Studies have shown that combining words and pictures can be an effective way to remember things. Try it next time you’re studying for an exam.
We hope these tips will be helpful to you when you go fishing for information in that great reservoir of memory. These are tips others have been able to put to use effectively. You may come up with some of your own. Here’s to a long life and a vivid memory!