Saturday 9 December 2017

5 Tips to Improve Your Memory

Woman writing in journal

Why does your mind forget the simplest things? Everyone has those moments when you forget where you were going - mere seconds ago. Or maybe you meet someone you've known for the longest time and you can't remember their name.

Each morning you get up with a certain amount of energy and capacity to function, think and remember for the day. Certain factors like stress and workload drain extra resources from your brain's memory bank. Additionally, your brain is wired to remember better during peak times throughout the day. It takes a little effort to balance all the factors contributing to memory retention. But once you understand it, you'll know how to remember things better than before.

Get to know your own best memory patterns and make the most of it. There's some practical memory improvement tips that work too. Here are tips to improve your memory. These tips will teach you how to remember things better than ever before.

It's All in the Details
It sounds counter-intuitive, but adding details when you want to remember something actually makes it easier to recall. Let's say you need to stop at the store and pick up a gallon of milk. Create a story around the milk. "I'm going to drive down Main Street and turn into the parking lot of the Stop and Shop. It's on the corner of Main and Willow. Then I'll march down the dairy aisle and grab a plastic jug with the pink label of Stop & Shop's house brand of milk..."  It's more likely that you'll remember to get the milk with all those details added, rather than just saying to yourself, "I need to remember to get milk."
Repeat to Remember
The more you say it the more it stays with you. Repeat it if you want to remember it. Names, things and places need to be ingrained in your brain. If you're trying to remember directions, repeat them out loud. Think about the directions more than once and repeat out loud again. Play the name game next time you're introduced to someone. Susie becomes "Susie Strawberry." Now repeat "Susie Strawberry" at the first meeting, during the conversation and when you say goodbye. Repetition works - try it.
Pay Attention
You can improve your memory by simply paying better attention. Too often the mind wanders and before you know it you didn't even hear what it was you're supposed to be remembering. If you're in a situation where it's important to remember, stay focused. Don't be shy to ask another person to repeat what you've missed. Rewind and start over when you notice you've stopped paying attention. You can't remember what you never really absorbed in the first place.

Picture This
Most people are visual learners. That means in order to remember things they need to see it with their mind's eye. Even if you only hear or read something that you need to remember, you can turn it into a picture. Take a mental snapshot of information to be remembered and you'll find an instant improvement in your memory.

Group It
It turns out that your memory has a harder time with tiny bits of information than if it was grouped together. Your 9-digit social security number would be a lot harder to remember if it wasn't grouped and separated by hyphens. When you need to memorize a string of names or facts, try thinking of it in groups of threes or fours. ex. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, etc.
Use these five memory improvement tips and you'll forget less often. Improve your memory by exercising your mind with puzzles, reading and learning new things. Cut back on multi-tasking in order to focus better. Repeat names, places and things. Add detail. Use grouping. Visualize. Pay attention. Your mind has an amazing capacity to remember -make the most of it.

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