If there is one thing that everyone would like to improve, it would undoubtedly be memory. This is true for students and professionals alike. After all, you are expected to remember a wide array of information throughout your lifetime. Unfortunately, few people are capable of actually doing this.
Well, the good news is that there are evidence-backed ways to improve your memory. While it may take some dedication and effort, following these methods is sure to help you retain information more effectively. Here are the top strategies that you need to know in this regard:
Most people associate mindfulness with mental and emotional wellbeing. However, there is research to suggest that mindfulness can also help boost your memory as well. The logic behind this is startlingly simple.
You may have noticed that when you are not paying attention, your memory worsens quite a bit. This is because you aren’t focusing on a situation long enough for your brain to be able to capture it in its working memory. Thus, that information is quickly lost.
Mindfulness, however, overcomes this problem. By its definition, mindfulness is all about focusing on the present and being aware of the environment around you. In addition, it also deals with bringing your mind back to the present when it begins to wonder.
Naturally, this ensures that you are able to notice and remember a great deal more. It should be noted that mindfulness can take some time to master. However, as long as you are determined and make an attempt to pay attention, this habit will quickly become automatic.
Use the Method of Loci
Now, in many cases, you are expected to remember larger chunks of information in one go. This is especially true for students or working professionals who are introduced to a new concept. Due to this, you are going to need a more effective method of remembering all these details.
Well, this is where the method of loci comes in. It is a mnemonic strategy that helps you recall information by connecting it to a particular location in a mental image. In many instances, the mental image is often a room or large building. Here, you will “place” certain details in specific spots such as in a drawer or on a table.
Then, when you need to recall this information, you simply mentally walk past that room. After this, it is a matter of focusing on what you left in a particular spot and then remembering the rest of the information attached to that.
While this strategy may sound a little farfetched, there is evidence to suggest that it does work. It has been utilized by professional memory athletes, college students, and everyone in between. Therefore, it can undoubtedly work for you as well.
Train Your Brain
Think of your brain as a muscle: if you exercise it and use it well, it is unlikely to get rusty from disuse. This is precisely why it is important for you to flex your brain on a regular basis. Of course, it isn’t quite as simple as completing a crossword puzzle each day. No, you really need to push your brain to its limits.
This is especially important when you are trying to remember specific information for a certain reason. For instance, if you are trying to retain details for an exam, make sure to try an exercise related to the exam you will be taking. Thus, you will be forcing your brain to utilize – and remember – information in more meaningful ways.
Get More Sleep
Believe it or not, sleep is integral to your memory. It is during your sleep that your memories are consolidated. As a result, they are strengthened and often passed onto long-term storage during this stage. Scientists have determined that this process takes place during every stage of sleep.
To ensure that you are reaping the benefits of these findings, you need to get around seven to eight hours of sleep a day. If you get any less, you could increase the risk of forgetting what you learned during the day.
You may also want to start taking naps when you need to remember certain information, perhaps after a study session. So, go ahead and learn the new information and once you are done, take a nap for around an hour. This will help to consolidate what you have learned previously.
Take Up Spaced Rehearsal
Few people can remember something right away. You often have to go over the information a couple of times before it becomes cemented in your memory. It is for this reason that you should engage in spaced rehearsal when you want to remember new details.
Spaced rehearsal is when you revise a chunk of information at regular intervals. This way, the content continues to remain fresh in your brain, reducing the risk of you forgetting it. Such a technique should be utilized from the moment you learn new information for the best results.
Improve Your Diet
Last but not least, take steps to improve your diet as well. To begin with, increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These have been proven to boost brain health. They can be found in fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, kidney beans, pinto beans, seaweed, and more.
You should also start eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. These will help to protect your brain from damage and keep your cells in better condition for longer. Finally, cut down on foods that are rich in saturated fats as they can increase your risk of dementia.
If you really want to improve your memory, then it is important to follow every one of these guidelines. Sure, it may take some time and effort but it will be well worth it in the end when you are able to boost your recall capabilities considerably. So, don’t wait any longer – go ahead and put these tips and tricks to good use today. You will soon reap the benefits.