It happens to the best out of us – you put your keys on a shelf, and a minute later, you forget where they are. Or you meet someone, and even though you have been introduced before, you can’t recall their name to save your face.
All of us have said at some point that ‘my memory is like a sieve.’ And while you might have said it out of the sheer frustration of forgetting something, this is not entirely wrong. Our brains are constantly absorbing information from the outside. If they began to store everything, it would soon run out of capacity. Therefore, filtering stuff is important.
But the problems begin when you forget things you should have remembered.
With multiple distractions and technology, we live at a time when forgetting essential details is easier than ever. This is exactly why learning how to improve your memory is important.
It can be a great way to impress people around you, grab the opportunities that come your way, and display your brilliance and attentiveness wherever you go. In fact, as per research by the University of Stirling, improved memory has been linked to optimism and greater happiness.
To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the nine most effective tips on how to increase memory power. Let’s dive in.
Effective Tips On How To Improve Memory Power
1. Eat a balanced diet.
Research by Harvard Health shows that eating foods rich in nutrients like antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids will help generate new brain cells. They also protect existing brain cells from harmful radicals.
On the contrary, foods rich in processed sugar and saturated fats can potentially increase the risk of developing dementia and other memory-related conditions.
Therefore, following a Mediterranean diet can be one of the best tips on how to improve brain power, especially when you age. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, and cereal grains, making it perfect for memory.
2. Stop multitasking.
One reason why you can’t find where you kept your keys or remember someone’s name or anything else is because you probably weren’t paying enough attention.
We live in an overstimulated world with constant distractions around us. We are engaged in multiple different activities at the same time. We juggle work and personal lives, constantly trying to balance out the needs of both. This highly demanding lifestyle ultimately leads to cognitive depletion.
Therefore, one of the best ways to improve your memory power is to stop multitasking. Every time you do something, mentally register your actions. If you are keeping your keys somewhere, take note of it. Repeat to yourself, I am keeping my keys here.
Research says that it takes around eight seconds to fully register and process a piece of information in our minds. So, another tip on how to improve your memory power is to stop giving half-hearted attention to different things and try concentrating on one thing for the time being.
3. Learn a new skill or develop a new hobby.
As per Swedish research, people who learned a new language had surprisingly better memory for people’s names, places, etc. Any activity that you properly practice is going to yield similar results.
Our brain is a lot like the muscles in our body. The harder you push it, the stronger and more efficient it gets. Therefore, one of the best tips on how to increase memory power is to find a new hobby or learn a new skill.
A new skill is a challenge for the grey matter of your brain. It stimulates new neural connections, boosting your cognitive abilities as a whole.
So, looking for ways to improve your memory power? Pick a hobby outside of your comfort zone now!
4. Use the chunking method.
Chunking or memory tree-creating method is one of the best ways to improve your memory power. This includes classifying and assigning different pieces of information to different branches of a tree.
For instance, if you want to memorize a set of facts, try to connect them in your mind using a memory tree. Begin with the central trunk and then slowly add the secondary branches. You can eventually finish by adding tertiary branches and leaves. Try labeling each branch and leaf in a logical way that is easy to memorize.
5. Get moving.
A consistent exercise routine can help not just your body but also your brain stay in perfect shape.
Therefore, one of the best tips on how to improve your memory power is to simply get moving. Working out boosts blood circulation in the brain and increases the size of the hippocampus region of the brain.
The hippocampus region is responsible for cognitive functions like learning and memory. As we age, the size of the hippocampus decreases. However, using exercises to boost its health and size is one of the best ways to improve your memory power.
6. Keep lists.
As old-fashioned as it sounds, the traditional process of writing stuff on paper and making lists are two of the best tips on how to improve your memory power.
This is because the process of writing and creating lists requires you to engage in the memory process. This leads to extra attention toward the task at hand.
To enhance the whole memory process, repeat aloud what you have written. This will solidify things in your mind.
7. Make your mental health a priority.
If you are struggling with your mental health, it can significantly affect your brain functioning. So, if you have been stressed or anxious lately, prioritizing is one of the most effective tips on how to improve your memory power.
Research by Robert M. Sapolsky shows that regularly feeling stressed, burdened, or burnt out can shrink the brain’s hippocampus region. Since the hippocampus is primarily involved in memory processing, this can further worsen your ability to recall information.
Therefore, investing a lot of energy around things that make you sad or angry can lead to deteriorating memory power. So, one of the best tips to improve memory is to consider professional help for dealing with your mental health issues.
8. Keep learning continuously.
If you do not continuously challenge your brain with new stuff, it loses the cognitive skills and abilities it used to have. This is because when you learn new things, neural pathways are formed in your brain, which boosts problem-solving and cognitive skills as a whole.
Therefore, another one of the best tips on how to increase brain power is to learn new things regularly. Try investing your time in things you haven’t probably learned before. Additionally, activities that are challenging and can be built upon can also be great for your brain.
9. Create your own memory theatre.
Architect and philosopher Giulio Camillo was the first one to suggest using a memory theatre of images and their positioning (loci) to remember things in the 16th century. To this date, it remains one of the best ways to improve your memory power.
Here’s what you can do to memorize a simple list of things containing milk, watermelon, and bread. Simply decide on three different locations. Here we will go with a house, library, and coffee shop. Now, imagine a scenario where you are looking at a giant house with milk oozing out of its chimney. Next, think of a library in which a huge watermelon-shaped book is lying on the table. Finally, imagine a coffee shop where bread is being used as a coffee mug.
Sounds bizarre, right? But that’s the trick. Try to devise bizarre scenarios and loci for the things you want to remember. The more unique the imagination is, the less your chances of forgetting the image are.
Maintaining your memory is the key to achieving greater success and happiness in life. It is a part of your overall well-being. However, little cognitive decline and forgiveness are a part of the regular aging process.
Luckily, there are multiple effective tips on how to improve your memory power. We hope this list of ways to improve your memory will help you get started in the right direction.
Besides memory, improving focus and concentration is also important for healthy cognitive functioning. To learn more about how to improve your focus, click here.
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