Your memory is one of the most valuable assets you have. Recalling the best events of your life, remembering the most important tasks and memorizing important dates are all possible because of sharp memory.
Often we hear people complaining that they fail to remember or recall certain events or some other important things. Usually people associate memory deterioration to aging. The truth is that our brain has the capability to produce new cells regardless of the age, so memory loss is not always the result of aging. Your memory is similar to your muscle strength, either you “use it or lose it”.
There are a lot of factors that determine your mental health such as your health habits, your lifestyle and daily activities you engage in. Good news is that you can improve your cognitive skills, protect the gray matter and save yourself from memory loss at any age.
Tips to Improve Your Memory
Here are some tips you can make use of to boost your memory and use this powerful tool more effectively.
Use Your Brain more frequently
Keep your neurons firing, if you want to have a sharp brain. Just like your body needs physical exercise to stay fit, in the same way reading can serve as your brain’s workout. Develop a reading habit, the best thing you can do is read 2 to 3 books a week.
Keep Your Brain Active
Mind twisting games allow your brain to stay active, such as games requiring logical thinking, memory tests, quizzes and crossword puzzles. Games like Sudoku also help keep your brain sharp and active.
Lack of proper sleep can impair your cognitive functions. Both, the quantity and quality matters for proper processing and remembering information. If you are planning to change your lifestyle for enhancing your brain health, do focus on taking a sound sleep.
Stay Away from Stress
Increased levels of stress can cause lack of concentration and also affect your ability to process information. Instead of worrying your brain with future thoughts it’s better to focus on your present. Trust us, this will help you a great deal in relieving stress.
Eat the Right Foods
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, walnuts, soy products, beans and flax seeds. You can also use fish oil. Studies reveal that fatty acids are beneficial for memory, cognition and mood. One such study revealed the positive effects of fish oil on school performance of children in Britain.
Stay away from drugs and smoking as they can have harmful effects on your brain.
Effective Tricks to Boost Your Memory
Here are some tricks you can use to enhance your memory:
Focus on Patterns
Sometimes large numbers are hard to remember, so here is a way you can remember such numbers:
Now this number might seem random to you until you will realize that a pattern is being followed. Add 5 to the first number, then add 2 and keep on repeating the process until you get the 22 digit number. So avoid memorizing blindly, instead you can use spatial awareness for memorizing the numbers.
Another way you can memorize the numbers is by associating them with certain things or events. For example if your number is 74736500736052, this is how you will memorize the number, Jumbo Jet 747, days in a year 365, James Bond 007, Xbox 360 and Deck of Cards 52.
The system of alphabetization can also be very helpful for memorizing a long list of words. For instance you need to memorize the name of states in the US, put them in an alphabetical order and learn them one by one. You will be surprised to see how quickly you will be able to learn the list.
Categorizing is quite similar to alphabetizing. If you have to memorize a long list of things, such as your grocery list the simpler way to do that is: put all the things under various categories.
For example, if this is your list:
Shampoo, milk, bananas, flour, butter, soap, coconut, sugar, cheese, apples, detergent, oats
You can assort all the items like this:
Dried Goods: flour, oats, sugar
Fruits: apple, banana, coconut
Dairy products: butter, cheese, milk
Washing products: Soap, shampoo, detergents
If you will memorize your grocery items in this way we bet you would not need those shopping lists again.
An effective way to remember something is by creating images in the mind. For instance, if you need to remember a person’s name, you can associate it with some object.
Example: If you meet someone by the name of Johnny Key, create an image of a key lying in the center of his face.
Story method is yet another effective way of remembering incidences, lists of things and dates. You can make up a story related to a certain event or important information that you need to memorize.
Think of mnemonics as a key to the rest of the information you want to memorize. It can be a word or a short phrase. Remember “some people have curly brown hair through proper brushing” for learning trigonometry formulae? This is how you can use mnemonics to learn other information.