How to Improve Memory – Simple Tools & Approaches
Age Related Memory Decline is Not Inevitable
There is now a large body of research that demonstrates how age related memory loss is not inevitable or irreversible as previously thought. In fact, this research shows, that our memories can actually be improved if we take simple steps and approaches consistently every day.
In exactly the same way we use physical exercise and a balanced diet to maintain the health of our physical bodies; it is also possible to maintain the health of our brain and our memory performance by paying attention to what we eat, how often we exercise and how we go about stimulating and challenging the brain to make it stronger.
The reality is that it is extremely easy to deploy small number of effective memory boosting tools, approaches, techniques and exercises that will protect your brain and ultimately your memory for the long-term.
There are a large number of memory improving exercises and approaches and below I have outlined just 4 but I believe they are easiest techniques to deploy in order to immediately start improving and protecting your memory
How to Improve Memory Tip #1 – The Importance of Repetition-Repetition
The use of repetition as a technique to improve memory performance, particularly for those individuals who are suffering from mild to moderate forms of dementia has been in practice for over three decades. Advances in our understanding of the brain show that continuity and repetition of tasks reinforces and strengthens neural pathways in the brain. However having said this it is important to note that in order to improve memory for the long-term new neural pathways need to be created in the brain. So while repeating a sentence or paragraph will help you remember it, finding new ways to memorise continuously is the key. Repetition when used with visualisation exercises (see below) can be an extremely powerful combination when it comes to improving your brain fitness and your ability to memorise.
Improve Memory Tip #2 – Use Visualisation Exercises
As just mentioned , repetition has been shown to deliver significant benefits by improving memory and actually preventing age related memory decline, so too has the use of visualisation been shown to boost short term memory recall.
By creating a mental image in your mind the thing you are trying to remember you anchor that thing visually in your memory. This is a very powerful and effective technique that has been used by memory Masters and chess champions around the world for decades.
There are a number of visualisation exercises and techniques to choose from but perhaps one of the most effective, particularly if you have a number of different things to remember, is to create strong image in your mind of a room and in that room are objects, for example are covered a chest of drawers etc. . When you are trying to remember something specifically and created the visual image firmly associating it in your mind, place that image somewhere in the room that you have created. This will allow you to retrieve it later on as a memory.
How to Improve Memory Tip #3 – The Active & Mindfull Brain
According to the Harvard Medical School, perhaps the best and most effective way to protect your memory is to keep your brain active. This kind of memory boosting activity goes beyond the usual advice of doing crosswords, learning a new language etc. there is no doubt that these activities are beneficial to the mind but keeping your brain active is more an on-going process that involves trying to be continuously mindful as you move through your day.
The brain by definition is a very complex organ, the more it is used in challenged the stronger it becomes. The key to keeping your brain active and challenged is to consistently try to alter routines and habits that have become second nature overtime. Doing things differently create new neural pathways in the brain. This is essential for brain health and for strong memory as you age.
Improve Memory Tip #4 – Motion Creates Emotion & Stimulates Memory
Research shows that individuals trying to improve their memory recall show positive results while being dynamic. The physical nature of say, moving and gesturing with your hands or moving around while you talk has been shown to help assist the brain in recalling memories.
Aerobic activity no matter how small delivers an increase of oxygen to the brain. This oxygenation process literally the brain making it more effective when it comes to memory recall.
Improve Memory Tip #5 –Your Way to a Better Memory
In the same way your body needs the correct intake of nutrients to keep it healthy and at peak performance so too does your brain. However the reality is that in our modern always on world, we often don’t get the chance to eat the right type of foods at the right time. Vital memory protecting amino acids like L-Methionine or L-Theanine, the commonly found in fresh fruit and nuts and vegetables are missing from many of our diets. There is the growing increase in the use of natural memory supplements containing essential memory supporting amino acids to top up what is missing from everyday diet and there is a significant amount of anecdotal evidence that shows the use of natural supplements to improve memory can be very effective when used in conjunction with the above for other memory improving tips.
Stay posted is over the coming weeks ahead I intend to expand in further detail on each of the above memory improving tips and provide you with practical tools and exercises that you can take to really boost your memory for the future.
About the Author
Sam Jansen is a leading brain scientist, lawyer and author, studying neuroscience, social behaviors and the science of happiness.You can find him at Google+