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6 Ways to Improve your Memory: Exercise Methods for the Brain

Updated on April 11, 2013

Use it or Loose it

Train that Brain

We have all struggled with our ability to remember at some point in life. Student or senior, a failing memory is a frustrating and rather frightening experience, but there are ways to remedy even the most forgetful phase.

Let's put my "memory" to the test:

Minimize Distractions

1. In order for information to be retained long term then you must be able to process it without distractions. For example, if you are trying to read, with the TV on and someone talking in the background, chances are that you are not going to be able to recall what you have read about very well. When you are reading or taking in information that you want to be able to remember, make sure that you are in a quiet secluded setting where you won't be interrupted. Chances are, you will only have to read it once! Much more efficient, no?

Create Associations

2. When I was in school, one of my teachers suggested using mnemonic devices as a technique to aid in recall. Simply put, I tried to remember the information that I was taking in by associating it with something trivial, like a rhyme, a color, a song or something funny. With lots of concentration and practice, this really works and I had a system of attaching my own picture or visual cue to challenging words or concepts.

~ An example of this in every day life would be remembering telephone numbers (let's just assume that you "forgot" your "smart" phone because you hadn't read my hub on memory yet....). When someone gives you their phone number you can create a bizarre story about the person using the words below. I know this may sound like a complicated recall system but you can adapt it to work for you by using your own buzz words or events in your own life. Try it for yourself sometime and see if it helps!?

1 - cat

2 - twins

3 - baseball

4 - door

5 - mitten

6 - sticks

7 - heaven

8 - octopus

9 - work

10 - toes

Consistency

3. Studies have shown than taking in information on a more regular basis, like reading for two hours each day is far superior to a reading blitz the night before a test. The brain is able to recall data taken in during several shorter "learning" sessions as opposed to a stressful one night lengthy study marathon.

Visualize

4. Some people benefit from visualizing the new information, perhaps drawing charts, graphs, pictures, etc. so that it works its way into your long-term memory! Check out these Mind-maps for a fun way to remember, especially suited for those with a creative streak.

5. Likewise, by reading aloud, discussing or better yet teaching these new ideas or information to others, it is much more likely to become part of your long term, more permanent memory and a snap to recall.

Brain Work Out Routine

6. Another thing that improves your ability to remember is by keeping your mind active. Use it or loose it therapy. Like anything that we don't exercise, our brain can become out of shape, a bit flabby! Keep it toned by playing challenging games, alone or with friends: chess, crossword puzzles, card games, writing, sign up for debates, give presentations, teach a class, anything that challenges you and makes you want to "think fast" will aid in a quick wit and improve your memory power!

Source

Imrove Memory

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    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      6 years ago from California

      You are so right princesswithapen! I think it is amazing what we can do with this most complicated body part ;-)

      It seems to take more and more effort each year to keep it in shape though! Use it or lose it, quite simply!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 

      6 years ago

      I was watching a documentary about Mentalists on Discovery Channel recently. Just like you've mentioned in this post, the featured Mentalist was also talking about how he used the techniques of Creating Association and Visualization to memorize, remember and recollect random facts. It is amazing how much our brains are capable of. All we need to do is try, don't you think?

      Princesswithapen

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you Fossillady - Yep the memory does need a bit of help now and then, guess I need all the help I can get! I appreciate your visit and comments, so true.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 

      7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Useful, useful information and those things really do work. I find that when I write things down I remember them much better. Association is great too!

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you daydreamer13, I am so glad you stopped on by! Don't be a stranger! ;)

    • daydreamer13 profile image

      daydreamer13 

      7 years ago

      This is very interesting! I'll have to keep ths in mind!

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thanks FastFreta-

      I know what you mean, my memory lapses had me practicing several techniques but since I can't remember them, I guess they didn't work very well! You are too funny.

      I appreciate the comments and will be reading more of your hubs this weekend!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Chatkath, you really gave me food for thought. I've used several methods to remember, but I've forgotten them now, LOL! I don't quite understand your telephone remembering system, I mean the list of words. Anyway I am going to put some of your suggestions to work, especially the one about reading aloud.

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you Green Lotus, I read several of your hubs yesterday while on the road (No, I wasn't driving :) and I seriously doubt that you need to use anyone else's ideas. I really enjoyed your 100th hub about responding to comments and the small breasted women hub-Cheers! You have an awesome collection of "original" and diverse hubs! (maybe "unique" is a better word-lol - also a good hub by the way)

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wonderful Hub with excellent exercises! I tried Kevin Troudeau's memory course years ago which uses the association method. It really works, but I still have those embarrassing senior moments. Oh well, I know a few 19 year olds who get them too!

      On another note, I have to confess, I'm working on a similar hub but I promise not to steal your stuff! Cheers!

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you Nell Rose, so glad you took the time to read, I kind of had my own selfish reasons for writing this one - my own failing memory :) Talk to you soon!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, this reminds me of when I went to night school psychology, we had a tray with objects on it, we were only allowed 30 seconds to take a peek, then we had to remember it! ha ha how hard was that? but funnily enough after a few attempts, and the 'secret' way of learning, it got really easy! I love anything like this! rated up!

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you rpalulis, I know there are probably some natural remedies for improving brain function as well, no? Maybe I will check. Glad you took time to stop by.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 

      7 years ago from NY

      Memory improvement is definitely something I could use improvement in, Great hub on exercise for the brain, very useful.

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Thank you Darski-

      Distractions are really a tough one for me, its almost like I enjoy being distracted or something...and then I complain about it :)

      But you, my dear, always seem to stay so focused - I don't know how you keep all your comments and fan mail straight-the price of fame I suppose ;)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Another great hub, my problem is distractions, but somehow it works around like a circle where my goal does happen. I do take lots of medication, so my mind gets lazy and blury. This hub is a most read for everyone, great tips and perfectly written. rate up love & peace darski

    • Chatkath profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy 

      7 years ago from California

      Well thank you Epigramman, as usual, you are too kind but your feedback is so appreciated...My brain needs all the help it can get these days so I decided to hub about it ^_^

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ...well I have already trained my brain to enjoy your hubs and your writing always offers enlightenment and a source of inspiration ......

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