The capacity of human memory is amazing. At the extreme end of the spectrum, participants in memory competitions recite entire phone books, plays, or random lists of numbers. For most people, though, remembering the grocery list is a big enough challenge.
Memory can expand and improve with practice, and there’s good reason to want to improve your memory. A good memory means less studying, more remembered birthdays, and a decreased need to write things down. You don’t have to be a genius or memory champion to master the tricks of memory improvement.
Here are five simple things how to Improve your memory and you can do that will yield significant memory improvement.
How To Improve Your Memory
Talk About The Past
The brain stores things in the memory based upon how frequently they are rehearsed and practiced. Frequently discussed memories are easier to access. Moreover, when you discuss something regularly, you’re more likely to develop a host of connections and triggers that activate the memory. Memories that are easily triggered are securely stored in long-term memory and much easier to recall.
By talking about past events, you rehearse memories. You also provide other people with information about your memories, which makes it easier for them to refresh your mind when you forget something. Talk about the day’s events with your spouse, children, or parents, and take a time to periodically recall distant memories.
Most people know that the more you study something, the more likely you are to remember it. Memory works in a similar way. The more you practice remembering things, the more efficient your brain gets at recalling information when you need it.
Next time you’re sitting in a boring meeting or laying around with nothing to do, tries memorizing a list of objects in the room, a list of names, or some other, random thing. By practicing memorizing random things, you increase your likelihood of remembering things you study as well as random, daily happenings.
Learn Memory Tricks
A variety of memory tricks can help you memorize concepts and jog your memory, but not every trick works for every person’s learning style. Try a few different tricks to see what works for you, then stick with the best one.
Chunking—breaking larger pieces of material into smaller parts
Method of Loci—building “memory houses,” or familiar paths in your mind where you place visual representations of the items you’re trying to remember
Acronyms—using the first letter of each word to spell out a different word or create a novel sentence that makes it easier to remember the material
Rhymes and songs—developing witty or silly statements or songs to help you remember challenging concepts
Although flash cards are popular memory tools, they’re among the least effective. People learn most effectively when they’re having fun because fun enables them to make associations between the item they’re trying to remember and their daily lives.
Memory games, whether with a group of other people or on a computer, can greatly increase your memory capacity because they’re fun.
Make Healthy Choices
Your brain is an organ that requires basic care to remain healthy. Without adequate nutrition and sleep, your memory will suffer. Excessive drug and alcohol use can also interfere with memory. Make healthy choices and you may find that you’re remembering things much more effectively.