Do you feel the need of improving your memory? Do you feel as though your memory sucks?
Do you have a tendency to forget what you are doing and can’t recall even the simplest of things?
Well, you are not the only one. Hundreds of individuals, if not more, feel as though their memories are not working the way they ought to.
You may be astonished to know that no-one has an impeccable memory.
Your memory is a very complex thing, and it can be difficult to understand how it really works.
One thing to keep in mind with your memory is that certain events can cause you to remember, or not remember them.
For example, if you were a witness to a traumatic event, you may remember the event in different ways.
First, you may not remember it at all. Your brain has the ability to shut out unpleasant things when it wants too.
This is known as a coping mechanism and helps your brain manage what you had witnessed.
On the other hand, you may find that you can’t stop seeing the traumatic event in your mind. You remember things in such fine detail that you may even think you are going crazy.
Usually, anything that doesn’t appear interesting, bizarre or funny doesn’t appeal to a person.
When nothing appeals to a person’s interest, nothing will ever be retained.
This boils down to the fact that when you don’t pay any attention to anything that is presented to you, there is a very slim chance of retaining it.
At some point, you may have lost the entire idea after several seconds it has been presented to you.
What do you need to do to maintain a good memory in the first place?
Just be sure that your full attention is functioning at its highest level. It is one of the simplest things to do to remember something, but often times, we fail to practice it.
Your lifestyle can affect your memory and the way it functions.
Certain things such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain good memory function.
Exercise is thought to discharge proteins in your brain which enhance your memory.
Many older people who reported having a bad memory started exercising regularly. After exercising for just a short time period, they found that their memory improved.
Sleep is another important component when it comes to your memory.
As you are aware your body requires sleep and plenty of it. When you become sleep deprived your memory and your entire body suffers.
Basically, when you sleep your memory opens up new pathways. In a person who gets enough sleep these pathways are working at an optimal performance level. This allows them to learn a new task more efficiently than a person who is tired.
In addition, you actually need to use and challenge your memory.
If you don’t read very often or do any types of puzzles your brain gets lazy. You need to use your brain and memory on a regular basis.
There are lots of sites, books and other options which you can use to challenge your memory and get it working again, the way it should. So your memory may not suck, it may just need a challenge.
How to Work Out your Memory?
Information in your brain is collected, stored and retrieved by neural pathways.
These pathways are responsible for you being able to solve problems, remember familiar faces and tasks, without exerting a ton of effort.
An adult has millions of these neural pathways that have developed from infancy. One problem is that you need to continually create new pathways.
Changes in your lifestyle, as you age, can often lead to pathways not being developed.
This is because you tend to not exercise as much as you get older. You may not pay as much attention to your diet. Both of these things affect your brain and your memory.
If you stay with your regular habits you are not challenging your memory.
Your brain requires regular stimulation, regardless of your age. It should always be developing and growing pathways.
There are some simple things you can do to stimulate this production of new pathways. Take a new way home from the mall or grocery store.
Take up a new exercise or activity such as golf, dancing, yoga or fishing.
Even just going to a museum, an art gallery or a nature hike in the mountains can stimulate your brain and memory.
Your memory is one of those things that you need to use regularly, or you run the risk of losing it.
If you feel as though you can’t remember new things or recall old events, then you may be lacking in the stimulation area.
Any type of activity that uses your hands is a great way to sharpen your memory.
Playing a musical instrument is a great option, so is doing needlework or some type of craft.
Even putting together a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to get your brain working more effectively.
To really stimulate your memory you should look for activities which are new.
This way you have to go through the effort of learning and committing to memory a new skill, with new terms and language. Quite honestly, you want to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
Your new activity should be a challenge; puzzles, sports, a new language, challenging crossword puzzles and learning a new instrument all fit into this category.
In addition, you want your chosen activity to be fun.
You ought to appreciate the challenge and excitement of learning it. You don’t want to dread the time that you spend on it.
While any new activity may be hard at first, the more you continue doing it, the more benefits you will experience.
You will have taught yourself something new and you will have increased your neural pathways.
If you are able to learn, understand and remember better by using audio clips or materials or anything at all that can be heard through listening, then use this skill to retain information.
This is a good approach to keeping yourself active of the things around you since it wouldn’t be too hard to use your best learning style to work since. It’s already your natural asset in the first place.
When you have so much information in your head, take full responsibility in keeping it all together. This is most important with dates, events, meetings and other complicated information.
Label these with short, catchy words that are familiar to you so you wouldn’t have to look up unnecessarily on your cluttered list each time. You can just use these catchy words to associate it with the important dates and events.
From time to time, check what you need to do on a certain day. Have a routine of the important things you need to do the next day. Never give up in doing little things for the sake of your memory because there is always a solution if you put your heart and mind to it.
Additional Simple Techniques to Improve your Memory
1. Tell yourself to remember.
When you first learn a person’s name, for example, tell yourself, “Remember that.” This signals your unconscious mind to rank this input higher in importance.
2. Know why you want to remember something.
For example, to remember a person, think about how that person will be important to you in the future. If you want to remember the fact about something, think about how you will need them someday.
3. Visualize the future.
Imagine where you’ll see a person next, and anything you notice about them. Use this with the last technique. The additional associations will set the memory more firmly in your brain.
4. Retrace your steps.
When you forget something, like where you put your keys, you probably retrace your steps. This works, but tries it in your mind, as if you were watching yourself from a distance. This can help keep you from blanking out parts of your route, as you did when you first set the keys down.
5. Plan your memory.
When you set down the keys on the chair, see yourself walking in and setting the keys on the chair. You could also quickly imagine someone asking where you put them and you answering “on the chair.” You’ll remember where they are if you do this.
Guess what the biggest problem with memory techniques is? It is remembering to use them.
Seriously, there are many great methods out there, but if you don’t have the habit of using them, you’ll forget when you need them the most.
With any technique, make a conscious effort to use it until it becomes automatic. That’s how to improve memory.
Remember this tips in taking care of your memory and your whole well-being.
Now, what do you do personally to enhance your memory?