“Marcus Tulius Cicero” once said “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things”. Imagine how wise and fortunate you would be if you were able to memorize a heavy amount of information at a very high level throughout the day?
Well the great thing is that there are ways to enhance your mind and memory performance.
So today we will be diving in together to explore 8 easy and effective ways that you can improve your memory.
How To Improve Your Memory
1. Use Mnemonics
If you are studying for an exam, mnemonics can provide an effective memory enhancing tool. Mnemonics help you to organize a large volume of random facts, concepts or words. And organization aids memory. As humans, we find it easier to remember a coded message, picture or symbol than a large mass of details. After we recall the code, our minds can easily interpret it and make other connections to recall more details.
For example if you need to remember a set of numbers like 1412325561. The numbers will be easier to memorize if you group them into three chunks like this: 141 – 232 – 5561.
2. Take Memory Aiding Foods and Supplements
Your brain and memory will function better when you eat foods that are rich in certain essential nutrients and antioxidants. Dr. Gary Small, the director of UCLA’s Memory Clinic, recommends the regular consumption of memory super foods including green vegetables and colorful fruits. These foods contain a high proportion of antioxidants that protect your brain from dangerous free radicals.
Blueberries are the premium source of a substance known as anthocyanins – a brain boosting antioxidant. According to Joy Bauer, a New York City based dietitian, studies have revealed that anthocyanins protect the brain from oxidation and inflammation, which can destroy neurons and make your memory less effective.
Bauer also recommends eating green leafy vegetables with your meals every day. Research has shown that adults who take a large quantity of kale, spinach and other greens have far less age-related loss of memory. Fresh greens contain phytonutrients such as vitamin C which is a potent antioxidant.
Apart from taking organic fruits and vegetables, you also need to take memory enhancing supplements. Supplements that encourage the growth of fresh neurons and reduce substances that can hinder brain function include fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, Vitamin C and D. To determine how much of these supplements you need to take daily, consult your physician or care provider.
Coconut Oil has been known to lift “brain fog” and even reverse the effects of alzheimer’s and dementia in high doses.
3. Practice Meditation
A recent study showed that participants who performed a daily 12-minute meditation with chanting for 8 weeks had remarkable improvement in memory. There was also an increase in the flow of blood to areas of the brain that are responsible for memory like the hippocampus. Meditation enhances memory because it helps to eliminate stress. Stress alters the state of the hippocampus and damages the nerve endings that enhance information flow. Meditation also improves memory through improved concentration and focus.
That was a brief discussion on how to improve memory. Take a step towards improving your ability to remember things by putting at least one of them into practice today.
4. Learn a New Skill
In a study conducted in Sweden, adults who studied a new language showed an improved ability to remember people’s names and other details. Researchers went on to discover that any new activity you practice regularly with diligence and focus can make your memory sharper. This means that you can improve your memory by learning to play a musical instrument, skiing, knitting and several other interesting skills.
A Life Hack To Improve Your Memory
Memory champion Idriz Zogaj teaches the TED audience a new exercise that will improve their memory performance in any area of life.
5. Use Games to Exercise Your Brain
Games that require a fair amount of mental reasoning like puzzles, crosswords and Sudoku tend to boost your memory and keep your brain from decline. According to Dr. Marcel Danesi, who wrote Extreme Brain Workout, playing games activates your memory and your entire brain. Also, a study carried out in 2011 revealed that those who played Double Decision regularly on their PCs for 6 years had a marked improvement in mental concentration. And this reduced their rate of car accidents by 50 percent.
In addition, several neuroscientists from Stanford and Harvard have studied how to improve memory through playing games. They used the online brain training program called Lumosity. The creators of this program said that over 95% of users, who played the games daily, improved their memory after playing the game for an aggregate period of 10 hours.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Memory improvement experts agree that adequate sleep is one of the easiest and most effective means of improving your memory. In a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, participants were required to do a few memory tasks then either stay awake or take a short nap.
Those who took a nap were able to recall more of the tasks than those who stayed awake. Hence, getting six to eight hours of sleep at night plus a short 30-minute nap during the day will make your memory sharper.
7. Do Early Morning Exercise
A short cardiovascular activity for about 20 minutes, in the morning, three times a week will improve your memory. That means that brisk walking, running, biking or swimming or a short workout on your treadmill can boost your memory. Scientists believe that when you raise the heart rate, more blood flows to the brain. This makes the hippocampus get enlarged and increase secretion of a protein called neurotrophic factor to enhance long term memory.
To prove the positive impact of exercise on memory, scientists at the University of California, Irvine, conducted a test on two groups of people. The first group rode the treadmill for about 6 minutes while the second group sat down and watched. Immediately afterwards, the first group of active people performed better on memory tests than the other group.
8. Pay More Attention
Research has revealed that you only need about 8 seconds to commit a piece of data to memory. So you should always endeavor to focus on the task at hand. Minimize the various forms of multi-tasking that blur your focus and make you forget things easily.
Train your mind to visualize what you need to remember and make a vocal commitment to remember any information you need to recall later. For instance, if you usually forget where you put your keys or glasses, you can adopt this simple strategy: Anytime you are about to place your keys on a side table or on your dresser, say, I put my keys on the side table and I will remember that they are here.