Memory problems can occur in people of any age. Sometimes it’s the little things: we forget the title of a song or the name of a new acquaintance. And sometimes we can’t remember the PIN code of a bank card or the text for a presentation. It is difficult for students to retain information and use it when writing an essay, as students study a large number of examples. In this case, they can turn to an essay helper or improve their memory. We will tell you what techniques and exercises you can use to improve your memory so that it will not disappoint you.
What is Memory, and How Does it Work
Our memory is a continuous process of preserving information which is usually divided into three stages: encoding, storage, and reproduction.
- Encoding. Everything we see, hear, or feel through our perceptual channels is processed by the brain, transformed into sound, image, or meaning, and stored in our short-term memory. The more sources of information, the more efficiently it is encoded and remembered.
- Storage. At this stage, the information the brain encoded earlier is recorded. The resulting data goes from short-term memory to long-term memory.
- Playback. The third stage is involuntary or involuntary recall. At some point, the brain retrieves the data and returns it to consciousness. The more often we use this or that information, the more reliably it is stored in our memory, and the faster it is reproduced.
How to Develop Memory: Methods of Memory Development
Improving memory is possible with the help of several techniques. There is no universal one among them, but all methods complement each other. In addition, they can also help you pump your attention and even train figurative thinking.
The German psychotherapist Schulte’s worksheets are suitable for those looking for a way to improve memory and attention. Exercise with these tables is great for visual people. A table is a square with cells filled with numbers or letters in random order. As a rule, there are five columns and five rows, in which numbers from 1 to 25 are randomly placed. Your task is to remember within 5 minutes as many digits as possible and reproduce them in the same order in which they were represented.
By the way, the method of Schulte is also used to develop speed reading skills. For this, it is essential to remember and correctly reproduce the numbers and do it as quickly as possible.
Meditation is excellent for training short-term memory. It is the conclusion reached by specialists from the Universities of California and Ohio in the USA. After a series of experiments, scientists proved that meditations improve concentration and attention. The main thing is to focus on one thought and not enter into a dialogue with your inner self.
Because meditation increases the amount of gray matter in the brain, it contributes to the fact that even the elderly can experience memory recovery. In addition, the practice of meditation has a positive effect on the entire body.
Short Breaks Technique
In the early 2000s, scientists from the University of Missouri and Edinburgh conducted a study: participants in the experiment were asked to listen to different stories and later answer questions about them. One group was given no rest, and immediately after hearing, they recalled an average of 28% of the facts of the stories. The second group was allowed to relax for 15 minutes and placed 50% of what they heard.
The essence of the technique comes down to taking short breaks from time to time while working on the material. Dim the lights, sit back, and enjoy 10 to 15 minutes of quiet contemplation. You’ll soon see that your memory works much better.
Memory training: 10 tips
To forget less, the top tip is to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Walking outdoors, sports and adequate sleep will help your body cope with stress faster, which means it will also have the strength to work your brain to its full potential.
When we exercise, our brains are oxygenated. Any physical activity also helps create neural connections, improves vascular tone, and reduces stress levels. Regular exercise between the ages of 30 and 50 can help prevent the development of dementia later in life.
The effect of walking is the same as exercising. A half-hour walk for 30-35 minutes will accelerate blood flow to the brain, which in turn will help improve your memory and ability to concentrate.
Any motor activity positively affects the body, oxygenates cells, and prevents the risk of dementia. In addition, while dancing, you need to memorize the movements, which is great for developing memory.
Watch your Vitamin D Levels
Low vitamin D levels can cause various health problems, including cognitive decline. Research has shown that people with vitamin D levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter lose memory faster than those with normal vitamin D levels. The best way to find out if you need this vitamin supplement is to get tested.
Get at Least Eight Hours of Sleep
Ideally, go to bed and wake up at the same time. Repeated studies on the relationship between sleep and memory confirm that sleep is crucial for normal brain function, and lack of it impairs memory.
Eat More Berries
Try to eat more berries, especially blueberries. Experts found that those who regularly eat at least 200 grams of strawberries or blueberries weekly have a much better memory. Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which strengthen existing neural connections in the brain.
Include Fiber in Your Diet
Foods that contain fiber promote brain cell renewal. It also stimulates metabolism and supports cognitive function. Fiber is found in legumes, vegetables, and nuts.
Allow Yourself a Cup of Coffee
There has long been a debate about whether caffeine affects memory performance. One recent study found that a cup of coffee after completing a task allows you to remember information longer.
Reading increases brain activity improves circulation, and, as a result, improves memory. In addition, reading keeps the brain’s neurons and synapses toned – the better they work, the better our memory and attention work.
Talk to Your Friends
German neuroscientists conducted an experiment in which they found that people with increased dopamine remembered information better. It turned out that the joy hormone dopamine has a positive effect on long-term memory. Communicating with friends brings pleasure, which is a quick way to a good memory.
Exercises for Memory
Exercises that are designed to improve memory are called mnemotechnics. At first glance, they seem simple. However, some of them will help improve not only your memory but also brain function in general.
Learn Poetry and Prose by Heart
With one caveat – memorization must be meaningful. Try to learn a small poem or a passage from a story every week. Even better if you will then recite what you’ve learned. This way, you will stimulate auditory memory as well.
Recall the Events of the Day
An exercise that is easy to do before you go to bed. Remember who called you today, with whom you laughed, and at what joke? It’s great if you can connect your visual memory and recreate the facial expressions of the people with whom you interacted.
If you remember everything about this day, dig into the past. Think back to your childhood, call out the names of childhood friends, and mentally dive into the details of the interior of the house you used to visit. Choose a movie and try to name all the characters first, and then the actors who played in it.
Studying a Foreign Language
The traditional way to improve your memory is to study a foreign language. This process activates your brain and teaches you how to structure and analyze information. Even if you only learn a few words daily, you’ll see results after a month.
Play Mind Games
Puzzles, puzzles, crosswords, online applications – choose from the variety of games that interest you. But periodically change them because the brain quickly gets used to one kind of task.
Many people remember information better if it is visualized. If you don’t have visual cues, try creating your own. Draw graphs or pictures, and use markers of different colors, so you’re more likely to remember all the details.
Give Your Brain a Jolt
Changing things up means exercising your brain. Force it out of its usual routine: take a different route, start writing with your left hand (or right hand if you’re left-handed), shower with your eyes closed or learn to juggle. It will help your brain wake up areas that have been asleep up until then, make it remember sequences in a new way, and get better spatial orientation.
Stop Writing Everything Down
From now on, the shopping list is your enemy. Start with it, and later try canceling all the lists you keep. It may be hard to do initially, but later, you’ll thank your memory. Come up with a rhyme, song, or joke to help your brain remember certain information.
Try to focus more often on what you are doing. Be conscious of your movements, plugging in your attention and “turning on your brain. Memory is closely intertwined with attention: we rarely manage to remember what we have paid little attention to. That’s why improving concentration will lead to memory development.
Find vivid associations with new material. Think about how this information relates to what you already know. Make connections between new ideas and earlier memories so the likelihood that you will remember recently acquired knowledge will increase.
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As you can see, memory can be trained like a muscle. Choose the techniques that work for you, experiment, try different exercises, and alternate them. In addition, adhere to a healthy lifestyle – it will benefit your memory and whole body. Follow the above recommendations, and your memory may improve.
Vicki Mata is a specialist in the education segment and she provides helpful advice for students and education in general on the WowEssays blog.