10 EFFECTIVE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY
Writing things down repeatedly but still not remembering the information? Constant repetition is the most commonly used method to commit something to memory, but it might not be the most effective way. Here are some tips to help you effectively transfer information from your short-term to long-term memory!
1. Find your learning style
Everyone has a different style of learning. If plainly trying to write things down repeatedly doesn’t help whatsoever, then try different methods. Whether it is visual, auditory or kinaesthetic, understanding your learning styles can help to remember information better. Using a combination of styles when learning something can also increase your memory as compared to learning something with just one sense.
2. Use your senses
Using your senses can help increase memory retention due to the power of association. For example, chewing a mint while trying to remember something might help associate the flavour with information. Spraying a unique perfume also can help bring back information you associate with the smell as your amygdala (smell function) is directly connect to the hippocampus (memory function) in your brain.
3. Write it down
Writing things down with pen and paper can help you remember more than typing with a laptop. This It because the process of writing allows you to process ideas for a longer period of time, allowing you to be able to fully absorb them. It is important to rephrase information in your own words to test your understanding and help you remember it better. Mind mapping is also great way to break down information into a simple diagram to be easily remembered.
4. Talk it out
Repeating information out loud out is effective as you form 2 memory pathways to the information – both visual and auditory links.
You now have the knowledge of producing the information as well as memory of hearing the information, making the spoken information more distinct than just reading it.
For instance, by saying the person's name multiple times after you've been introduced can help you remember the person’s name better.
Trying to teach the topic to someone else can also help you remember information better as it encourages you to work harder to understand the information better, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively.
5. Use Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic Devices are memory tools that help a person improve their ability to remember something.
Some of the techniques you can use are:
- Acronyms: They are a word formed from the first letters in a name or phrase. For example, in music, students are taught to remember the notes of the treble staff (EGBDF) by using ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’
- Rhymes: Rhymes help our brains encode words easily by remembering it’s sound structure. For example, you can remember a person’s name by rhyming it with a verb, ‘Shirley’s hair is curly’
- Chunking: A simple way of breaking down large pieces of information Into smaller chucks. For example, it is easier to remember someone’s phone number by breaking it down to 2 chunks of 4 numbers.
- Imagery: Our brains encode visual memories differently than words, making it easier and quicker to remember visuals. By recalling specific imagery, we can recall information associated with that imagery.
6. Take occasional breaks
Taking short breaks gives your mind and body the much needed time to relax. Take that 5 to 10 minutes to talk to friends, sing along to your favourite tunes or dance around the room, anything that enables you to shake any stress off. Doing this allows you to come back to information with a fresh outlook and can actually increase your productivity and creativity. It also gives your brain the much needed processing time and keep exhaustion at bay.
7. Catch those Zs
Sleep plays a fundamental role in our ability to memorise information. During sleep, the brain organizes and consolidates information for long-term memory. This allows your brain to recover and remember information more effectively. A good sleep refreshes and relaxes your mind, enabling you to concentrate better, thus be able to commit more information to memory. Sleep deprivation on the other hand not only impacts out motivation and mood but also our memory retention, creativity, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. Not able to get restful sleep? Here are some tips to help you achieve that peaceful slumber.
Healthy body, healthy mind. Studies have suggested that exercise appears to improve the parts of the brain that controls thinking and memory (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex). Exercising helps increase blood flow to the brain allowing your brain gets the nourishment it needs while getting rid of unnecessary waste products. This improves your ability to focus and provide you with a mental boost that would increase memory retention.
9. Eat properly
Fueling the mind is an essential element in order to increase focus and concentration. Try adding more blueberries, salmon, avocado, freshly brewed tea and dark chocolate (yum!) to your daily diet as they help stimulate brain memory. Herbs like Ginkgo Biloba and omega-3 fatty acids from DHA are also known to be natural brain boosters. For optimal brain functions, opt for supplements like LAC Brainspeed® which are specially formulated for peak mental performance.
10. Practice makes perfect
At the end of the day, practice does make it perfect. It isn’t called a wise old saying for a reason. To improve memory, it is important to focus on the information that you are trying to learn and to keep going back over it after learning for the best retention. Just make sure that you are learning the right thing ;)
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