Imagine waking up one morning with the ability to remember everything — every word your boss told you, every word your teacher taught you, even your anniversary! What a difference your world would be, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately very few people can do that, including me — a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion! So, the next best thing to do is to do what I did, learn memory techniques that will get you as close to looking like a genius as possible.
Whether your goal is to become a Memory Champion, or just improve your everyday memory, the techniques are the same, and I have the information you will need to get started.
- You Can Do It! Just your memory isn’t what it used to be doesn’t mean it can’t be. There is value to the “Power of Positive Thinking” attitude. Every achievement is motivation to keep going, and every setback is an opportunity.
- Release the stress. There is research to prove that stress is a memory killer. Prolong periods of stress causes your hypothalamus to tell your pituitary gland to release hormones that can weaken the memory center in your brain. Learn relaxation techniques — like yoga or meditation.
- Exercise your brain. Our neurotransmitters can weaken, lose their elasticity or die off altogether if not properly exercised. You can grow new ones, and strengthen the ones you have, by simply working them out — by learning new things, doing puzzles and word games, and continuing to challenge yourself.
- Exercise your body. Better blood circulation means more oxygen is getting to your brain, which uses up more oxygen than any other part of your body. More oxygen improves memory.
- Get proper sleep. 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.
- Eat right. Your brain requires nutrients in order to work at its optimum level. 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.
- Practice. Developing a good memory is like any other exercise — practice makes perfect. Memory is solidified by repetition. Try this memory improvement exercise to pull back old memories, and you get a chance to relive happier times. Get out old photo albums and try to concentrate on the people you grew up with, and family members who may have passed on. 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 not observant to start with.
- Concentrate. Taking your attention away from what you are trying to learn makes it difficult to form a lasting impression. Eliminate distractions and force yourself to center on what you are trying to remember.
- Learn to organize and compartmentalize your life. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is a common phrase. In an office a good filing system makes it easier to find something when you need it. The same holds true for organizing things in other parts of your life. It’s also easier if you group like items 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.
- Learn memory training techniques. Humans are visual beings, and we associate pictures with words. “You remember information more easily if you can visualize it and connect it with something you are familiar with. 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.”
If you want still find yourself with the need for more information, look into memory training seminars, memory training workshops, or memory tapes like the ones I have available at brainathlete.com that will help keep you mentally alert and brain healthy.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote 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. His CDs and memory products are also available online at BrainAthlete.com.
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