Every day human mind comes across numerous different concepts and facts. It is not possible to grasp them all. Everyone occasionally forgets things. The fact is that human brain is no different than any physical memory storage device, but in lot many ways better than them. It not only stores information in the form of facts, data and figures but it also recognizes thousands of faces, routes, day to day activities, and much more. In short human brain governs our every single gesture, no matter simple or complex, conscious or subconscious.
Human brain exhibits neuroplasticity, it can adapt changes at every stages of life, provided it is presented to it smartly. Due to this fact you can give a second thought to your decision to improve memory in late 40s. A good memory is needed at every stage of life, when you are young you need to learn lots of subject and pass all your academic session every year, once you complete your education use of memory increases even more, you have lots of responsibility apart from your work. Hence a good memory is everyone’s need at every stage of life. No matter whether you are a student or professional, here are 10 simple tips that can help you to improve your memory:
1. Practice Makes a Man Perfect
“Use it or lose it”, the more you utilize your brain the better it gets. As exercising is the need of healthy body, similarly practicing is needed for a healthy mind. You need to give your brain its food for thought. Choosing appropriate mental exercise for your brain will stimulate your brain and thus help in developing it. The more you divert yourself to the new ways the better your mind gets. Sudoku, and cross words, have been the best proven mental exercise, apart from this the activities which involve the usage of hands like playing musical instrument, playing with magic cubes and juggling also contribute a lot in improving your mental skills.
2. Write it Down and Rehearse
This may sound irksome but it is really effective. Just go through something once and write it down, you will be able to learn it easily, if focused. And if you are sincere enough to take pain to rehearse it twice a day and then once a week, then it is surely going to stick to your mind forever. Apart from this, the technique is also a boon to your ‘to to list’. Before going to market you can make a list of things you need to buys, or on the weekend you can pen down ‘to do’ items for the next week. This way you will be able to cope with the problems due to forgetfulness in your day to day life.
3. Acrostics and Acronyms
Acrostics are encoding technique in which every first letter of a sentence constitute a message. Acronyms denoted abbreviated form of some phrase. These were the most helpful mnemonics of my science class. You are never going to forget the things you learned with the help of these mnemonics. For instance, to remember the colours in rainbow you use acronym VIBGYOR (Violet Indigo Blue Green Yellow Orange Red). Also the acrostic for remembering the 8 planets of solar system is, “My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Noodles” (Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune ).
We still remember those nursery rhymes. Don’t we? To learn some thing complicated it is best to turn it into the rhymes form. In this way apart from learning if you get confused with something the rhymes will clear it. This technique works best in case of remembering figures. For example you always mess the year in which America was discovered by Columbus, then you may change it into rhyme as “In 1942, Columbus sailed, The Ocean Blue.
5. Understand and Relate
Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of United Nation said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may understand, involve me and I learn”. One of the best ways to recall and learn something is to understand it and relate to it. The things you mugged up on last night before the exam are never going to stay in your mind. To learn it by heart you need to understand it thoroughly.
6. Read it Again and Again
This point does not need much of elucidation. We all must have experienced it at every stage of life, yet left it unnoticed. The moment a child comes across the first few lines of his morning prayer he automatically comes up with the rest of it. it is not because he sat down to learn it but because he recites it daily. This was the simplest example to how reading or reciting something regularly can help you memorizing it by heart.
A pleasant thing is always easy to remember. You never forget the face of beautiful lady receptionist you met during your holiday last summer. You can associate a word or text with a visual image which would help you in remembering it. This effective technique was used to help kids at elementary level, to develop a better understanding is now being used at several coaching institutes helping students prepare for competitive exams. For instance, a complex word is broken down and worked out to present them in symbolic form.
Yet again, a single solution to many problems, sleep. Despite of being necessity of a healthy body, sleep is also essential for a healthy and active brain. While you are asleep, your body is taking rest, and your mind is busy in organizing your memory. Sleep helps in integrating your memory thus creating room for new things. Apart from this sleep also makes your mind fresh, making you more adaptive to learning new things. For a healthy functioning of body a sound sleep of at least 7-8 hours is necessary.
Meditation is the key to focus. And focus is the key to concentration which further automatically enhances your learning skill and compiles your personality reducing day to day problems like forgetfulness. Meditation is an old, conventional, proven remedy to many of the problems. It helps you to concentrate, and discard all the unnecessary thoughts from your mind. Even 2-5 minutes of meditation once a week is enough to help yourself focus. If you do not get time to meditate, just sit calmly and relay.
10. Memory Boosting Food
Food is not only necessary for survival, but it is an add-on in your overall growth. Specific types of food are responsible for stimulating growth of different body parts. You must be aware that a diet based on brain boosting food can stimulate the response time of your brain. Some of the memory boosting foods are antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, omega-3 rich foods, complex carbohydrate rich food, specific vitamins etc. Colorful fruits and vegetables like spinach, banana, apples, mangoes, broccoli, arugula etc are rich source of antioxidants and prevent our mind from damage; hence they should be included in your diet plan. Also omega-3 rich foods like fatty fishes, spinach, pumpkin seeds, pinto beans etc have been reportedly proved as brain enhancing foods. Hence it is advised to smartly chalk out your diet plan and include all the memory boosting foods in it.
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