Do you get a tad forgetful on occasion? Well, that does not necessarily mean that you have a problem with your memory, but your memory might benefit from some improvement. Well, this is not something rare; in fact, the majority of the population today suffers from memory issues at various times due to different reasons related to the modern lifestyle.
Improving your own memory and accessing information in your brain is a learnable skill. In fact, there are numerous practical skills and techniques you can learn which will help you. This means there’s lots of choice – and that means you can find what works best for you. Here are some very well evidenced tips that can improve the brain efficiency and your memory.
1. Relaxed Mind:
This is something that I probably could have come up with a better term for, couldn’t I? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that when you are relaxed it is easier to retain and recall information to and from memory. There is less impediment than if you are stressed and distracted.
Side issue: Hypnosis of old, for example, was used to help people recall memories, but modern science has shown that hypnosis does not guarantee veracity of memory and in fact could cause issues with the creation of false memories. However, using hypnosis to relax effectively in order to be able to retain and recall more from your memory makes a lot of sense.
I therefore recommend that if you are studying or wishing to capture information or recall information, then aiming to be as relaxed as possible will aid you greatly.
2. Brain Workout:
There is a common conception that working out makes a person fitter. Well, this is absolutely true for the brain as well. The brain needs a workout in order to get skilled and do better. When the brain recalls a memory, it forges neural pathways that become easier to travel along each time. These pathways are used to solve analytical problems, recall memory, and execute tasks and much more. However, if the pathways are not frequently used, these tend to die. So, the more your brain remains active, the better it becomes. A person should think, apply and do things in order to achieve brain workout.
Doing puzzles, engaging in complex thought, reading, debating, being stimulated intellectually, learning languages, learning musical instruments or a course of study – these are all things that will give your brain a regular workout.
3. Memory Vitamins:
There are many health tonics and vitamins as well that claim to enhance the memory performance as well. There are many supplements that offer up cognitive benefits in their marketing. When you examine the research, the best memory vitamins tend to be B12 and Omega 3-Fatty Acids that are responsible for enhancing the brain and improve the memory power.
There are many supplements available that claim to improve the brain efficiency and memory power. These products are generally natural and herbal products that provide the required environment to enhance the memory power and efficiency. A Harvard Business Review shows a considerable effect of the supplement for brain memory improvement.
For me, I think it is best to eat well and healthily. Feed your brain with plenty of fruit and vegetables and healthy sources of the vitamins and minerals that support brain functioning.
I guess I could have titled this point “eat healthily” too. We should all be well aware of the diet for improving the brain. There are particular diets that can help a person to fight the memory loss by a considerable amount. Fish is a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and that can be a great boost for the memory. However, if you do not eat fish, then walnuts, ground flaxseed, winter squash, kidney beans can also be great for the brain and memory improvement. This is probably a good place for me to mention that keeping well hydrated is also a great thing to do in order to advance memory, drink plenty of water each day.
I’ve seen research that suggests that Green boosts memory power and so does coffee (some studies show that regular coffee consumption can ward off a number of brain related issues) but you have to weight up the effects of it depriving you of sleep because sleep is massively important for memory as I’ll mention shortly.
When you exercise you oxygenate the brain. Studies published in Behavioral Neuroscience, The Journal of American Geriatrics Society, and The Journal of Aging Research, among others suggest that exercise plays a significant role in memory. There are many exercises that help the brain to be more active. It can be a form of any physical exercise, like visiting the gym, yoga, running, walking, cycling, swimming, every physical exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the brain. This further enhances the releases of axons and neurons in the brain that lead to better efficiency and a smarter brain. A recent study suggested that people who exercise moderately to vigorously just once a week are 30 percent more likely to maintain their cognitive function than those who do not exercise at all.
Other good ways to oxygenate your brain include breathing exercises, so you might like to have a read of these articles to help you breathe in such a way that you can oxygenate your blood effectively:
5. Socialise Regularly:
Ongoing medical observations and research findings have shown that memory loss is often related to depression, stress, and loneliness. An introvert person is more likely to develop mental problems than a socially active person. It is therefore very important to engage and involve in social activities to keep your brain healthy and free. This can improve the efficiency of the brain by a considerable amount. It is also important to have a good relationship with others and share laughs and joyful moments. A happy life can be a great source and medicine for the brain improvement.
Likewise, as additional support for point number two – socialising will involve you engaging your brain and working it out and it’ll do so in an often fun way.
6. Get Organised:
You’re more likely to forget things if there is no order – if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray, this may be good for being creative, but can sometimes distract and detract from having an effective memory. Get some semblance of order in your day to help with this, basic stuff like – using a white board or an app like Evernote to jot down tasks, appointments and other events and making use of your calendars online etc. Keep to-do lists current and check off items you’ve completed (good to see your own progress at the end of each day too!). Set aside a place for your wallet, keys and other essentials. Limit the chaos to aid with memory, but for some, you can embrace the chaos when you want to get creative.
Limit distractions and don’t do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you’re going to retain, you’ll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you’re trying to retain to a favorite song or another familiar concept. This also relates to an earlier point – being relaxed. Likewise, it relates to this next point….
When something is considered a chore to learn, it is much harder to get that information wired in. When you enjoy it, have a passion for it, are stimulated by it, you’ll engage with the information much more readily and will retain and recall it much more fluidly.
Make the learning experience stimulating and fun, take breaks when studying, use music that relaxes and uplifts you if you can do so, remind yourself that you are enjoying the sensation of your brain learning more.
If you ever need assistance with this, go and look at the accelerated techniques used in schools today, it is so much different than my day. Look at the interactivity, the colours, the engagement – all of which make the learning enjoyable and easier to draw upon later.
I am often asked about my ability to regale students with references to hypnosis studies and their findings, the authors of the paper etc. When you take all the points in this article, you can understand why someone who has spent his entire adult life working in this field, with an avid interest in the subject, and a love for it can do so – add to that the fact that I absolutely love it, means it is relatively easy for me. Ask me about subjects I have little love for, and of course, it’ll be a very different story.
8. Sleep Well:
It ought to go without say; good sleep is very important to improve the memory power. The brain needs rest to rejuvenate and perform better. Good amount of sleep can be extremely helpful for the people to boost the memory and enhance the performance of the brain. Sleep does this in two key ways. Prof. Robert Stickgold from Harvard Medical School explains it like so: “Well, it turns out that probably all the stages of sleep are involved, but they’re involved in different ways. And so what we will classically do is we’ll train subjects on some memory task, and it might be a list of words, or it might be a typing sequence. So it can be very different types of memory problems...”
In the gym, you’ll always be told by a good coach that fatigue conceals strength. That is, when you are tired, you may not be able to access your real strength potential. The same is true of memory, a fatigued brain will not be as effective as it is capable of being. Improve your sleep hygiene and get into good sleeping patterns. Your memory will advance as a result.
The next blog entry on this website will share with you a couple of self-hypnosis processes for advancing memory. Read that here: Using Self-Hypnosis To Boost Memory and Accelerate Learning.
Memory is weird, and it works in strange ways. Science proves that memory is reconstructive and so it is not always reliable even. Even if it’s unreliable, you still have to put your trust in it often. Memory is hard to work with, but it’s still malleable and you can use different mental exercises to stay sharp as a tack. Just as muscles grow stronger with use, mental exercise helps keep mental skills and memory in tone. Engage in as many of these points as possible and your memory will be sharp.