A few ways to improve your memory

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Hi there and welcome to another blog post of mine. Heard my music yet? Go on, visit iTunes, Google Play and even Spotify amongst others to download and listen. I would appreciate your support! #JustSaying!

An image of a guy losing his memory

No, it’s not because I am getting old that I need to cover such a topic. Well, maybe just a little; LOL! I have also noticed more and more people forgetting what I tell them and see many friends forget the most basic instructions from their spouses to their bosses. In some cases, these are the same people. *Wink wink.

Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy. While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating. Whether you want to be a better student, maintain your competitive edge at work, or stay mentally sharp as you age, you can benefit from having a better memory. #justsaying

Unfortunately, genetics also plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.

Until fairly recently, it was believed that once your memory started to slip, there was little you could do to turn it around.

But it’s now known that this is not true.

Every day, your brain has the opportunity to grow new cells and form new neural connections… provided you give it what it needs.

Did you know? Your brain’s ability to change and grow, to get better, throughout your lifetime is called neuroplasticity.

Simply put, your brain is constantly changing.

Memory is a complicated process that’s made up of a few different brain activities. Here’s a simplified version to help us understand how the process takes place and what memory actually is:

Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we’re experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called synapses.
If we didn’t do anything further, that memory would fall right out of our heads again. Consolidation is the process of committing it to long-term memory, so we can recall it later. A lot of this process happens while we’re sleeping, as our brains recreate that same pattern of brain activity to strengthen the synapses we created earlier.
This is what most of us think of when we talk about memory, or especially memory loss. Recalling the memory is easier if it’s been strengthened over time, and each time we do so, we run through that same pattern of brain activity again, making it a little stronger.

Memory loss is a normal part of aging, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take action to slow it down a little. So, I hope these few tips below help and please, let me show you something you can do to increase your brain’s ability to memorize information easily… and for the long-term.

In short, take a moment with me at the end of this article and I’ll demonstrate a way you can consciously use your own brain’s software to make you feel, and seem to others, gifted.

Skip to my secret memory technique.

Please note: all my tips and the technique, are based on time-tested results and the latest scientific evidence. See my sources below the article.

1. Meditation

This is my favourite and I try dedicating at least 20 minutes a day to meditation; either in the evenings before bed or early morning when I wake. This also helps me with my 3rd eye exercises that helps in overall improvement of life as you learn to be more conscious about the things happening around you. Heard of 3rd eye activation, working memory and even spatial working memory? Did you know that some people also believe the world is made up of vibrations and tones? #Justsaying

The practice of meditation may positively affect your health in many ways. It is relaxing and soothing, and has been found to reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory. Spatial working memory is the ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.

Working memory is something we use every day and it makes our lives a lot easier when it’s stronger. For most adults, the maximum we can hold in our working memory is about seven items, but if you’re not quite using your working memory to its max capacity, meditation is one thing you can try to strengthen it.

In fact, meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies. As you age, gray matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition.

Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve memory in people of all ages, from people in their 20s to the elderly.

2. Fill your life with music!

Music is one of the few activities that engages both sides of the brain simultaneously. Listening to music, particularly instrumental music, positively impacts memory, focus, attention, language skills, and physical coordination.

Playing an instrument is even better for mental development than passive listening.

Did you know that kids who learn to play an instrument develop better memories and higher IQs than kids with no musical training? Research here...

Seniors with dementia seem to be brought in touch with their emotions when they listen to their favorite music. Research here...

Listen, play, sing, and dance to music - it’s all good for your brain.

If you want to listen to music to specifically enhance learning or concentration, check out the free music streaming service Spotify. They have an entire category of playlists if you search “Deep Focus” that have been curated to help you do just that.

Don’t forget to grab me on Spotify too!

Memory techniques, also called mnemonics, were first developed and used by ancient Greek teachers and philosophers.

3. Use reminders!

As US Memory Champion Joshua Foer explains:

“They (memory techniques) work because they make you work. They force a kind of depth of processing, a kind of mindfulness, that most of us don’t normally walk around exercising. But there actually are no shortcuts. This is how stuff is made memorable.”

There are several kinds of reminders that can make your life go more smoothly:

Checklists: Used in a variety of occupations such as surgeons, pilots, and emergency workers. If people in these high-responsibility, high-stress occupations rely on checklists, maybe you should too.

Taking notes: Curiously, compared to taking notes electronically, manually writing them down increases the likelihood that you’ll remember what you’ve written.

Did you know? Using red ink seems to work better than blue or black?

Visual cues: Put any item out of its normal position as a cue to remind you that there’s something you need to remember. This works particularly well when trying to create a new habit; leaving your athletic shoes by the door to ensure you’ll take your daily walk.

4. Exercise regularly!

Studies in both rat and human brains have shown that regular exercise can improve memory recall. #4Real

Of course, the benefits of exercise are numerous, but for the brain in particular, regular exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities beyond memory. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay sharp mentally, taking a walk could be the answer.

See how a quick walk ignites the brain.

an image of two brains that were scanned

5. Get more rest!

Consolidate your memories!

Sleep has proven to be one of the most important elements in having a good memory. Since sleep is when most of our memory consolidation process occurs, it makes sense that without enough sleep, we’re going to struggle to remember the things we’ve learned.

Did you know that even a short nap can improve your memory recall?

In one study I researched, participants memorized illustrated cards to test their memory strength. After memorizing a set of cards, they had a 40-minute break wherein one group took a nap, and the other stayed awake. After the break, both groups were tested on their memory of the cards, guess which team performed better?



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Sources: Wikipedia, Google, University of Missourii, BeBrainFit, Psycology Today, Science Daily, Harvard Magazine.


Martin Grobler

About Martin Grobler

Martin is a digital marketing specialist, a producer and always online. His educational background is Digital and has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. His wife & little girl comes first and in his spare time he really enjoys making music. You can learn more about him [HERE].

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