I like to say that if it wasn’t for a bad memory I wouldn’t have one at all. Everyone struggles with remembering things and some are worse than others. Students need to improve their memory skills to learn and take tests. Other people just want to be able to find their car keys or remember people’s names. There’s no magic solution that will work for everybody, so we all need to find what works best for us. Here are ten easy things you can do to improve your memory.
- Write it down – Often the simple process of writing something down will help immensely to remember it. The process of transferring a thought to written words will help imprint the idea, name or item in your mind and make it easier to visualize later.
- Repetition – Nothing improves your memory like repetition. Hearing, doing or saying something over and over will instill that memory in your brain. When you’re introduced to someone new, repeat their name 3 times in conversation to help you remember it.
- Visualization – Pictures do speak louder than words so visualization is a great tool to improve your memory. You can associate pictures with words or names you need to remember and sometimes just picturing in your mind what a list looks like will help you remember what’s on it.
- Rhymes – We all can remember songs and poems from our childhood because rhyming words trigger our memories. Using rhymes is an easy thing we all can do to improve our memory skills.
- Exercise – Many people don’t realize how important exercise is to improving their memory. Physical exercise increases the blood flow to the brain and exercising your brain increases your memory potential. Social interaction will also help stimulate a person’s brain and help prevent memory decline.
- Sleep – Getting plenty of sleep is an important part of improving your memory capabilities. Sleep deprivation has a disastrous effect on cognitive abilities and your brain needs that time for memory consolidation. I have often awakened from a deep sleep and remembered something important that had previously eluded me.
- Food – The food you eat plays an important part in our memory skills. A healthy diet with omega 3’s from fish, antioxidants from fruits and vegetables plus moderate amounts of alcohol all help to feed your brain.
- Lower stress – Reducing stress does wonders to improve your memory. Relaxation techniques like meditation lower stress and increase your memory sharpness. Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and improve your memory at the same time.
- Get organized – Reducing the clutter in your life will help to unclutter your mind. If you get organized you free up your mind and know where to find things when you need them. Keep things in their place and use a daily planner to schedule your activities so you won’t have so many things you have to remember every day.
- Play games – There are many easy games you can play to keep your brain active and improve your memory. Sudoku, crosswords and other puzzles give your brain a workout and improve your thought processes. Take a puzzle book with you on the plane or any place you have time on your hands.
Be sure to tell yourself that it’s not that I have to remember this, it is how do I remember it. Writing yourself a note will do no good if you don’t put it somewhere you will see it and read it. By practicing a few of these easy techniques along with living a healthy lifestyle we all can improve on what we may consider our limited memory skills. Now where did I put that note to remind myself what to do next to improve my memory?