Improving your memory can change your life. Do you remember when was the last time you forgot a birthday – and made someone upset? Have you missed an important business appointment simply because you forgot about it – and this had a negative impact on your career? Or are you the type of person who constantly forgets things and has the ability to memorize complex chemical formulas? Memory is important for our daily activities, our past and present, our career and our relationships. If you want to change your life you have to improve your memory. The good news is that there are easy to follow daily hacks that can help you improve your memory performance.
Scientists warn that our mind and memory needs training on a daily basis. The mind and memory works like muscles and needs continued challenges to strengthen and develop. When a mind operation becomes routine it does no exercise and has nothing to offer to our mind. All investigations to date have been converging in that repeating work and daily habits (routine) significantly affect the operations of our mind and have adverse effects on our memory.
Techniques to use to improve memory
The things we have to remember are a lot and all this information must fit in our minds. For you in order not to be betrayed by your memory you can apply different techniques on how to save the information and be able to retrieve it easily when you need it. You can improve your memory in the following areas:
1. Improve your memory with games and exercises
Do not miss an opportunity, either by yourself or with friends, to engage in exercises and games that require memory, observation and knowledge. Solving crosswords, for example, exacerbate the memory. According to surveys, the proper handling of the language from an early age helps the proper functioning of the brain, exercises with words help for the upsurge of memory.
2. Give attention to details
We cannot remember information unless we give it attention, we need to focus our attention on something that we hear, read or see. If during the time we get new information we devote a few seconds to process, analyze or to comment, it is certain that we will be able to recall that information without difficulty.
3. Activate all senses
Depending on what you want to retain, enable more of your senses (vision, hearing, smell, etc.). It will retain the memory more easily and you will be able to remember the information quicker.
Be selective on what you want to remember. Select what you want to remember, why and for how long.
4. Organization – grouping
Disorder is the worst enemy of memory. We can remember better information when they are associated with another information that already exists in our memory. To understand this better try the following test:
Read the following ten numbers: 1914678007. Then cover it with your hand and try to remember. Most people will not succeed. Usually people can hold up to 7 numbers. It is no coincidence that most phone numbers consist of 7 digits. If, however you group numbers and associate them with an event, then perhaps you remember them more easily. If for example, you group the numbers as follows:
1914 (the year that started the First World War)
678 (three consecutive numbers)
007 (James Bond).
So, you have only three things to remember instead of ten.
5. Reading daily newspapers and magazines
Choose an article and pay particular attention to the content. The next day try to remember as many details as possible and talk to someone about it.
At the time you read the newspaper try to locate quickly the idea and just focus on it. Practicing on a daily basis this strategy, you will soon see that your mind focuses better on new information.
Read an excerpt from a literary book and try to imagine the details described in the story. In this way you can improve your visual memory.
Repetition helps your memory. It makes something you want to remember to be “saved” in your memory. When you meet someone for the first time, try to repeat his/her name several times, or when you are given a new telephone number, write it down and repeat it aloud. If you need to always remember something, write it a few times on a piece of paper and make sure that your are focus when you do that.
7. Manage your stress
Pressure is good for some people, but most people operate better when they are relaxed and de-stressed. When we are stressed, we cannot remember something easily. Remember a situation where you were asked for the name of a basketball player you know and at that moment you could not remember it and then suddenly his name came to your head. Take a deep breath. Do not get stressed if you cannot remember something, its no big deal. The relaxation will enhance the thinking and your memory.
8. Check the levels of iron in your blood
Iron helps the proper functioning of neurotransmitters, which in turn are responsible for the proper functioning of our “memory system”. When iron levels are low, the brain “malfunctions”.
According to a latest scientific research, a four-month treatment with iron supplements brings the iron levels to normal, and memory «returns» to a normal state.
9. Avoid multitasking
An important aspect for your survival in the digital age is the ability to handle multiple simultaneous tasks. This situation can affect your ability to recall information, for example, try to answer messages in your e-mail while watching / listening to the news while reading messages on your mobile phone?
Normally, when you receive new information, the brain processes the information through a particular part of it, the brain peel. But according to Professor of Psychology at UCLA, Dr. Russell Poldrack, «the simultaneous execution of multiple tasks dramatically reduces the learning ability of a person, because people are unable to absorb the entire volume of information».
This happens because the brain is forced to postpone the «process of the information» in another region, known as «annulus», where the stored information contains much less important details.
Fortunately, this type of memory problem has an easy solution. In simple words, be sure to focus and give your full attention to any issue that you really want to remember in the future.
In cases that have to manage many things together, put your priorities and focus in as many little things at a time as possible.
10. Relax your mind
It is known that the relaxation and concentration exercises reduce anxiety and stress, which in the years are responsible for the destruction of brain cells and the inability to restraint information. Relaxation exercises besides helping you relax and calm can also exacerbate your memory.
According to a recent survey conducted at the University of Kentucky, people who took part in an afternoon memory test immediately after 40 minutes of relaxation, showed much better performance than those who took part in the test immediately after a 40-minute nap.
Even more impressive was the fact that after a night of sleep deprivation, the same people repeated the memory test. In this case, people who have done the relaxation exercises the first time, went much better than those who had simply sleep.
This is because the deep relaxation and meditation functions similar to sleep. They reduce the entry of stimuli from the centers of consciousness. This phase / state of being calm and quiet, offers neurons the appropriate time digest new information and recover recent memories.
11. Check your cholesterol levels
A healthy cholesterol level is essential for the smooth and efficient operation, both of our cardiovascular system, and for our memory. When the concentration of «bad» LDL cholesterol increases, then the risk of depriving the brain with nutrients, as well as the failure of the circulatory system, is growing.
One possible consequence of this situation is problems with the memory. According to neurophysiologists, even low amounts of LDL are enough to prevent the operation of microscopic blood vessels in the brain.
In addition, various surveys have shown that high cholesterol levels are a factor contributing to the symptoms of the Alzheimer disease.
12. Double check drug and medicine use
One side effect that the excessive use of medicines (especially those who are without prescription) can create, are memory disorders.
Drugs such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, sedatives and painkillers, chemotherapy treatments against ulcers, convulsions and the Parkinson’s disease may affect the mechanism of memory. As people grow up and get older, the medicines are likely to remain in the body for longer, with the dramatic increase in negative interactions with the functions of memory.
Fortunately, early discontinuation of medication leads directly to the reduction of the symptoms of memory disorder. It is very important, therefore, to talk with your doctor to adjust the dosage of medicines to follow or even to stop.
13. Eat more apples!
It is generally known that «An apple a day makes the doctor away». Apples have just the right dose of antioxidant substances, which increase the levels of acetylcholine (a necessary nutrient for the proper performance of memory-neurotransmitters), which decrease with time. Additionally, the antioxidant ingredients found in apples, helps maintain the integrity of memory, protecting brain cells from damage. In particular, protects from damage caused by free radicals, as derived from the daily metabolic process (e.g., glucose metabolism).
An interesting experiment, applied in mice showed that those of them suffering from Alzheimer’s had a significant improvement in memory, especially after the daily consumption of apple juice.
Indeed, after nearly a month, it was observed that the mice that drank the apple juice had better results in the maze test (one way to control short-term memory) than the other mice in the experiment. By extension, the experts wonder whether the same method can be applied and lead to beneficial effects in humans.
To strengthen, therefore, your memory, it is recommended the frequent drinking of apple juice and eating 1-2 daily apples.
14. Get “memory fit” with Aerobic exercises
Traditional cardiovascular exercises can also keep your memory at optimal levels, improving several aspects of brain processes.
In a study at the University of Illinois, showed that people who regularly do aerobic exercises can improve the functions of the brain associated with the operation of attention and memory. It should be noted that people who participated in the aerobics group were aged between 60 and 70 years. Nevertheless, the results of the study determined that «the brain tumours» was almost identical to younger people as well.
Remember, therefore, that walking is good! One hour fast walking, 3 times a week has the potential to dramatically positive results in the revitalization of your memory.
15. Trust your mind
Do not worry if you have a tendency to forget? Abandon this idea immediately! The anxiety you feel every time your memory deceives you can be the reason for any future generated problems associated with memory.
According to an article in the journal of «Psychology & 3rd Age», a sample of healthy, senior people took part in related memory tests. Before the start of the test, the first group learned that aging causes memory disorders, and then they did some tests and received a relatively low score. In contrast, another group that took part in similar tests was informed that with the passage of time there is no special drop in the operating mechanisms of memory. This group not only had better scores than the previous one, but it also scored 15% higher than a third group (the control group), which have not been told anything on the relationship of memory and age.
16. Drink more wine
A glass of wine actually helps in maintaining good memory. One component of wine (the resveratroli) helps to prevent occurrence of Alzheimer disease symptoms. After a series of laboratory experiments, researchers of the University of New York discovered that resveratroli suspended the production of beta-amyloeidous protein that causes Alzheimer’s.
Wine is also good for the heart so adopt the habit of drinking a glass of red wine daily to stimulate your memory and to negate the chances and phenomena of amnesia.