Dream it Possible!
As you progressed through the educational system, you probably realized that memorizing wasn’t the best way to learn.
Instead, you started focusing on understanding context. In this process, your memory still plays an important role.
In fact, memory skills are important in all aspects of life in addition to studying. Work, relationships, hobbies… your achievements practically depend on memory.
The only problem is: no one taught you how to work on it. As you get older, your memory will start declining and you won’t like it. That’s why it’s important to prevent that process. It’s important to start working on your memory skills today.
The good news is that this is not a hard process. Don’t worry; we won’t make you go back to school. Through a few simple techniques, you’ll boost your memory and you’ll be proud of yourself.
1. Start Meditating Every Day
Working memory is the place where we temporarily store information, before letting go of it or sending it to the long-term memory folder. Research showed that mindfulness meditation can improve your short-term memory, but the process of recalling information from your long-term memory as well.
In this study, none of the participants had previous experience with meditation. Still, they showed a noticeable change in the normal daily function of the brain. The brains of people who meditated had a superior ability to rapidly remember information and incorporate new facts in their existent base of knowledge.
So how do you start meditating? Do you just start sitting with your eyes closed?
Meditation is simple, but complex at the same time.
● Yes; you just sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable position and your spine erect.
● Your eyes are closed.
● You breathe. You pay attention to nothing but the breath. Breathe in, breathe out.
But mindfulness meditation is more difficult than it seems, simply because your mind won’t allow it to happen easily. It will interfere in the process. Your attention will wander away and you might start thinking it’s impossible for you to meditate. It’s okay!
It’s normal for the mind to wander away at the beginning. What you need is an absolute focus; you can even use a focus brain booster for this purpose.
When it goes away, bring it back, no matter how many times you need to do that. It’s easier to start meditating if you have proper guidance, so we’d advise you to search for a good meditation course in your area.
2. Do This Simple Mental Exercise Every Day
Do you know why you can’t remember things as effectively as you want to? The problem is that your mind is cluttered.
When you try to study, for example, you’re suffocating it with fresh information all the time. When you work and your boss requires one task after another, it’s easy to forget some of them, since you’re already focused on other things.
There’s a simple mental technique that helps with clutter. You just need to let go of it before going to bed. Here’s what you do:
● This will be the last thing you do before going to sleep. It will only take a few minutes. You may do the technique in bed, but don’t close your eyes because you’ll fall asleep in the middle of it. If that happens, it’s not a big deal, but try to complete it.
● Start remembering everything you did that day. How you woke up, went to the toilet, brushed your teeth, had coffee, read the news… everything. Try to maintain the chronological order of the events.
● While you’re doing this, you’ll remain detached. If you’re remembering how your boss gave you instructions and you were impatient, acknowledge that. But don’t start recreating the emotions. It happened and it’s in the past.
● This will be like watching a movie of things that happened to someone else. You’re not attached; that’s the most important thing. Do this every day and you’ll declutter your working memory from things that are not needed there.
Here’s another thing for you to include in your daily routine: physical exercise.
What does that have to do with memory? A lot!
Older adults who exercise show fewer symptoms of memory decline when compared to those who don’t exercise.
Physical activity improves your spatial memory. It’s the part of the memory that’s responsible for processing information about your spatial orientation and environment.
Have you noticed that when you start a new type of exercise, you need instructions at first but then your body seems to remember the movements without needing reminders?
4. Research and Write
When you want to improve your memory, it’s not just because you want to study or work more efficiently. It’s about learning. You learn new facts about the universe that surrounds you every single day. With that much information to process, it’s easy to start forgetting things.
So let’s say you’re really interested in a particular topic. You just watched a Nat Geo show and you want to know more about it. So you start searching online. That’s a good step forward. But will you stop there? To remember all this information, you need to do something more.
● Take notes during this research. That helps you remember information and compare it between different sources.
● Write a project. It may be a blog post, essay, or even a complete research paper. It needs some form, so you’ll take it more seriously. If you don’t know how to tackle these projects, you may collaborate with cheap writing services at the start. When you get used to writing, you’ll be able to do it without assistance.
5. Sleep Well
You absolutely need your sleep. If you deprive yourself of sleep on a continuous basis, that habit will negatively affect your memory functions. During sleep, the process of memory consolidation occurs. In other words, the things you learned throughout the day take root.
When you’re too tired, you don’t have enough strength to focus. In such a situation, even a short nap will make a difference.
So you need your healthy sleep, and you need it every day.
● Start going to bed earlier. Take a shower, go to bed, and practice the technique we described above. Maybe it will be difficult for you to fall asleep right away if you’re not used to going to bed that early. But you’ll get used to the new schedule.
● Don’t spend too much time with the tablet or smartphone before bed. Screen time impairs the quality of your sleep.
6. Have Your Coffee
You like coffee a bit too much? Well, don’t feel guilty about it, since coffee is good for your memory. A study showed that caffeine improves one’s performance for 24 hours after administration. The researchers showed that it enhanced consolidation of long-term memories.
If you love your morning cup of strong coffee, there’s no need to give it up. But be careful; don’t drink too much coffee throughout the day. It will make you nervous.
7. Change Your Diet
Everything you eat affects your brain and your entire body. You need a diet that’s rich in vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and fiber. Basically, you need more fruits and veggies, fish, avocado, berries, and whole grains.
Proper food protects your brain’s cells from the damage that free radicals cause. When you include the good stuff, you’ll feel more focused and energized. The ability to focus alone improves your working memory.
You’ll need to do something more: eliminate bad foods, such as processed sugars and saturated fat. They inhibit your ability to focus and increase the risk of dementia.
8. Focus on One Task at a Time
People love multitasking since it enables them to do many things at once. Some read several books at the same time. Students are used to juggling between different subjects while studying, simply because they attend different classes.
But multitasking is not such a great technique, after all. When you shift your focus from one task to another all the time, you confuse your brain. Just when you became focused on the plot of one book, you remove your attention from it and focus it on another. By the time you’re done with both books, you can’t remember important details.
● One task at a time! That’s the main rule to remember.
● Arrange your schedule in a way that enables you to complete all important tasks without juggling between them.
9. Use Your Senses
When you want to remember information, incorporate multiple senses into the process. Let’s say you’re traveling and you want to preserve all you experience. Notice how things sound, taste, smell, and feel to the touch!
When you’re learning something through a purely intellectual process, focus on the emotions. Even if you’re learning things related to science or society, they still cause some kind of feelings. Use that sense to make the memories stay.
10. Play Games
Now comes the fun part!
You can play different games that train and enhance your memory. Here is the best suggestion: IQ Test for All to enhance your cognitive functions creative thinking.
It’s Not That Hard
You want to become smarter? Just improve your memory functions. It’s as simple as that!
As you noticed, the ten tips above didn’t demand huge efforts on your part.
You just need to devote less than one hour per day to these activities. Meditation, research, writing, playing Lumosity and exploring the Ultimate Brain Game – those are the activities that demand a lot of time but are still easy to fit in your schedule.
Co-author: Tiffany Harper is an experienced writer from New York, she found herself in writing very early and still improves her skills. Tiffany likes to write during traveling and meeting new people. You can find her on Twitter.