Imagine how great life would be if you were able to remember everything! You won’t ever again lose your keys, or forget where you parked your car. You will not forget to do an assignment, will pass tests with flying colors, and save your marriage by not forgetting your spouse’s birthday or your anniversary.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of people who can actually do this. The rest of us, including me, have to rely on enhancing our memories so the little things don’t slip through the cracks — and other people will think you have a photographic memory.
No matter if you have aspirations to become the USA Memory Champion, or you just want to remember more of the little things that seem to be slipping away, the suggestions I have here for you will give you a good memory boost.
1. Eat and Drink Properly. This cannot be stressed enough. Getting too much sugar, becoming dehydrated, or eating food that have no nutritional value all contribute to “brain fog,” that sluggish, tired feeling that makes it hard to concentrate. A healthy diet leads to a healthy brain. A diet rich in “brain foods” like Omega 3 fatty acid, (fish oil), and antioxidants (broccoli, blueberries, spinach, and berries) promote healthy brain function. Eating 5-6 small meals a day (grazing) instead of 3 large ones seems to improve your memory by leveling your sugar. And, if you are not certain you are getting the right vitamins, take supplements like Thiamine, Vitamin E, Niacin and Vitamin B-6 for improved brain function.
2. Exercise. Providing a better flow of blood throughout your bloodstream brings oxygen to your brain. Your brain utilized more oxygen than any other part of your body, and it needs it to improve memory and function at optimum levels.
3. Play Brain Games and Challenge Yourself. As we get older our neurotransmitters also age and die off. By regular brain exercise, through the use of brain games that expand our brain connections — like puzzles, chess, playing a musical instrument, playing word games or socializing with others to keep your brain active, you can develop new connections that will keep your mind clicking on all cylinders. Keep your brain active by providing it with fun challenges.
4. Maintain a Positive Attitude! Maybe your memory isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. There is truth to the “Power of Positive Thinking” attitude. Take every little achievement as motivation to keep going. Our brains reject negative thoughts, so a negative memory is much harder to keep in our heads than a positive one. There is power in positive thinking.
5. Take the Pressure Off. Stress makes it hard to think clearly. Under prolong periods of stress your hypothalamus tells your pituitary gland to release hormones that can weaken the memory center to your brain (hippocampus). Learn meditation and deep breathing exercises to help you relax. Practice yoga. Take classes in boxing and other sports that provide an outlet for you to release your tension (punching a bag is always good). Find any way that works for you to let the pressure off of yourself. Learn to calm down, take things slower. I learned a lesson a long time ago that helped me immensely: Ask yourself this question — “In the overall scheme of things, is this really important?” If it isn’t then what are you stressing over it for?
6. Focus. Learn to ignore things around you that are not directly involved in what you are doing. Forming a memory is much more difficult if you are distracted. Force yourself to center on what you are trying to remember and eliminate what is going on around you. Developing the ability to focus saves a lot of time, and allows you to concentrate on what is important. You will do a better job, and be more efficient.
7. Practice Remembering Names and Faces. Get out old photo albums and try to concentrate on the people you grew up with, and family members who may have passed on. This will click some memories in your brain of happier times, and happy is a good way to open up your brain as well as bring back old memories. Look carefully at the photos and try to bring back details. Remembering names and faces is a great memory improvement exercise. We tend to forget more because we were observant to start with.
8. Use Association and Mnemonics. Human beings are visual, and we associate pictures with words. “You remember information more easily if you can visualize it. If you want to associate a child with a book, try not to visualize the child reading the book — that’s too simple and forgettable. Instead, come up with something more jarring, something that sticks, like the book chasing the child, or the child eating the book. It’s your mind — make the images as shocking and emotional as possible to keep the associations strong.”
9. Practice, Practice, Practice. When you want to remember something you need to repeat it or write it down. The more you repeat, the more you’ll remember. When trying to learn a speech, practice in front of a mirror, in the car, in front of your family, and every change you get until you know it completely and are sure enough about your knowledge to do it without crutches, like note cards or notes.
10. Group Things Together. It’s easier to remember things when you put them into groups. Example: When you make a grocery list, group all the vegetables together; the dairy, etc. – group things according to where they are located in the store. It’s much easier to remember what you are looking for this way than if you just have a random list.
11. Get Organized. It’s amazing how much organization helps your memory. You aren’t wasting time looking for things when they are always put back in the same place. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is a common phrase. The more organized you are the easier it will be to find things, and the better able you are to concentrate on more important things.
13. Sleep Well. According to studies conducted at Harvard Medical School, “Getting a good night’s sleep — a minimum of seven hours a night — may improve your short-term memory and long-term relational memory.” The amount of sleep we get affects the brain’s memorizing ability.
14. Take Memory Training. Take memory training seminars or memory training workshops that will help with memory techniques to keep you mentally alert for years to come.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.
Midnight Fire — http://sentinel-midnightfire.blogspot.com