“Not only is my short-term memory horrible, but so is my short-term memory.”

– Anonymous

 

When you work out, you strengthen your muscles and bones; similarly, to improve your memory, it needs to be exercised. Memory demands are often the highest during school years. Many students think that if they understand a concept, they will remember it better. They may not make an extra effort to retain information in their mind. So, during a test when they are not able to recollect, they may feel frustrated. A key to making good grades would be to understand the subject as well to engage in activities that can help retain and recollect what they’ve studied. Here are six tips that can aid in improving memory.

 

Eat Right

Nourishing your brain with antioxidant-rich foods like berries, spinach, carrots, and dark chocolates can protect your brain health and stimulate the production of new brain cells.

If your diet is high in sugar, it may induce inflammation, oxidative stress, and poor insulin regulation. So, it is essential to follow a diet that helps you reduce these adverse effects. You can do so by consuming a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and fish.

 

Sleep Well

When you are sleep deprived you cannot function adequately. If you are sleep deprived, your ability to think clearly or communicate is affected. Research has shown that adequate sleep is crucial for memory. New memories are formed when you are learning. Sleep plays a significant role in solidifying these memories. So, make sure you get your eight hours of sleep and more importantly stick to the same sleep schedule.

 

Meditate and Exercise

You don’t have to be a yogi or a monk to practice meditation. Doing some mindful breathing for at least 20 minutes a day can boost memory and your ability to focus. It increases the blood flow to the brain and reinforces memory capacity. Cardiovascular exercises like running, swimming, climbing stairs and playing sports too increase oxygenation to the brain which helps to maintain healthy brain cells.

 

Connect new information to existing information

Studies show that learning and memory can be strengthened by relating or associating new information to known experiences or prior knowledge. When you activate the background knowledge, it helps better understand what you are trying to learn. Also, we find it easier to remember things which are linked to each other, than those which are stand-alone or are in fragments. So, next time when you are learning something new, take your time and think about how this new concept relates to what you already know.

 

Try brain games

Apart from keeping your memory sharp, according to some experts, brain games like Crossword puzzles and Sudoku may delay brain decline. Some studies show a strong correlation between the play and delayed onset of dementia.

Chess is an intellectually challenging game that can exercise your brain by making you rely on both short-term and long-term memory. While solving crosswords, it is advisable to level up the challenge each time you get the hang of solving the simpler ones so that, the brain stays engaged at all levels. Sudoku, on the other hand, makes you rely on the working memory since you must rehearse the placement of numbers mentally. Then again, if solving gets easier, pick up a more difficult puzzle.

 

Adopt memory techniques

Adopting memory techniques like mnemonics and visual images can immensely help in memory.  Mnemonics are like cues which facilitate retrieving information. For example, if you are trying to memorize the names of the 5 Great Lakes of North America – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and, Superior, you can use the acronym HOMES to remember them. You can also benefit from visualizing the information you study. You can create your visual cues like flashcards or by drawing simple diagrams or flowcharts. Such visual memories go a long way in cementing knowledge in mind.

 

The brain’s capacity to adapt to new things holds for learning and memory too. You can incorporate the above tips and tap the potential of your mind to improve your memory.

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