5 Tips to Boost Your Memory
We all need to remember things and some of us have a better memory than others! Whether you struggle to recall where you put your car keys, forget the name of someone you just met or can’t remember what you wanted to get in the supermarket, you’re not alone. Of course, storing knowledge for an exam is different to remembering that you need teabags when you go shopping. But either way, there are numerous tips and tricks you can try out to boost your memory until you find the ones that work best for you.
Memory Tip 1
Keep Your Brain in Good Health
As the old saying goes ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’. If you sleep well, take regular exercise and eat healthily, then your brain responds better too.
If you struggle to get to sleep, try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, watching TV or using interactive devices for at least an hour before bedtime. Exercising gently, perhaps once or twice a day, stimulates your brain by increasing oxygen flow and reducing stress-related hormones. Eating less processed food and consuming more brain-boosting ingredients like vegetables, fruits, fish, turmeric and dark chocolate increases mental alertness and aids memory retention.
Memory Tip 2
Routine, Routine, Routine
Being organised and tidy really helps to improve your memory. If you’re not continually stressing over lost items and worrying about forgetting things, your brain has a much better chance of retaining important information.
Always keep essential items, like your keys, in the same place and put them back there every time you use them. Make a note of anything relevant as soon as you think of it, the simple act of writing something down triggers your brain to remember it and you may find you don’t even need the note!
Memory Tip 3
Don’t Multitask: Chunk instead
It’s an unfortunate fact that the modern world gives us too much to think about at once. It’s natural for your brain to discard information from short-term memory before storing ‘relevant’ information in long-term memory. With too much input at the same time, the wrong data may get discarded.
Try not to multitask, learn to break down tasks into chunks and keep them separate from each other. That way, your brain gets the chance to process them individually. This helps you to remember the essential parts of each chunk, rather than retaining a jumble of irrelevant information.
Memory Tip 4
Use Your Brain
Your brain is just the same as the rest of your body. To coin another old phrase: ‘Use it, or lose it’. If you don’t use muscles, they waste and it’s precisely the same with your memory. You need to actively work on boosting your memory.
In an ideal world, learning a new skill is one of the best workouts for your brain, especially if it’s something that you enjoy doing. Realistically, it’s not always possible to maintain that level of commitment to continual learning. Aim to do at least one activity every day that provides a mental challenge: jigsaws, crosswords and even video games all get your brain working.
Finally, Tip 5
Making Up Stories
Your brain enjoys funny things and is often stimulated by them. You may find you retain amusing memories for a long time – like a joke you heard years ago. So, using humorous stories to remember facts can also work a treat. This is a great way to boost your memory.
For example, if you tend to forget names, next time you meet someone new, try this. Find something notable or amusing about the new person and link it with a funny story, mental image, or even a little rhyme. You may find you remember the amusement easier than the person themselves and the memory will prompt you to recall the name!
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