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How to Sharpen Your Mind
A good memory is not something which we got when we were born. It should not decrease as we get older either. It is natural in a person's life that the older she/he is, the weaker she/he is at remembering things, especially new information. In spite of this, we are still able to add about ten to fifty percent to our memories, with some effort.
For the young, remembering seems like something automatic. It is not the same as it is with older people who must spend energy and effort to reach the same level of memory. So, the older we are, the more exercise that must be done to sharpen our memories.
There are eight principal ways we can make our memories better. The first ways is by concentrating our minds. Sixty percent of failure in remembering can be avoided if we pay attention. It is true that sometimes people cannot avoid being forgetful. However, people who pay less attention will make more remembering mistakes. Exercise for concentrating our mind does not require special time. It can be done while we do our routine activities.
For instance, watch every movement when you take a bath, and feel the water touching your body. Or you try to hear the music from another room without it being disturbed by other voices. Or learn by heart the colors or two photographs.
Second, do not your minds be idle for long periods of time. This is no problem for people who still work full time. However, it might be some trouble for retired people or for people who are well-off financially. They should not forget to exercise their minds in order to avoid being forgetful persons. Most studies of memory show that people over 50 years old who have practiced memorizing are able to remember much better.
Watching television is not a good mind exercise. But games, chess, puzzles, bridge and other similar kinds give stimulation too and challenge our minds.
Third, do not forget that our health also supports our minds. People who have diseases, for instance heart disease, atherosclerosis, etc also have worse memories than those who are healthy. So, do not neglect sport! there is evidence that aerobic exercise for 4 months can make a significant difference in one's intelligence and memory.
Fourth, do not obsessed by fear of becoming of forgetful person. It is natural that older people's memories are not as sharp, and quick and/or efficient as younger people's. But it is still not difficult to learn and remember new things. People who worry about their memories will tend to have memories that work less well.
The fifth way is to look for a better and more efficient strategy for remembering. Basically, there are two large groups of media that improve our memories. One of them is visual media, for example slides, films, pictures and photographs. The other group is audio media, for example cassettes, or radio. Besides those separate groups of media, there is still another group - the combination of both groups, for example video cassettes, DVD and television.
Nowadays, the combination group is more available and more convenient than the separate groups are. Even listening to someone talking is using audio visual-media, the combination. We are not only listening what there is to me seen.
Every one has his/her own special way to remember something. However, many things can be done to help us have higher remembering ability. It just depend on which groups we are working with. If the visual group, we can improve our memory by making notes about what has been done, etc. If the audio group, we can exercise our memories by listening repeatedly to what we want to remember. No matter which group, we have to exercise regularly our best way of improving our own memories. But the way chosen will be less effective unless it is practiced over and over.
Sixth, we have to evaluate our abilities. It is on an irony that many people have a good talent for remembering things but don't realize that they have it. They know if they remember or forget, but they have never analyzed why they remember of forget. Our memories can be more effective if we realize our weakness and our worries about old age. Because of that, we should make evaluations of our progress and thus recognize which ways are better and which ways are not as good for sharpening our minds. After finding your best ways, the best ways for you, you will able to improve your memory to its greatest extend, and use it efficiently.
The seventh way, "Don't get bored with repetition", it is seventh principal way. New information must be heard (audio) and/or seen (visual) again and again in order to be retained in the memory, even though the information may be needed only for a short while. The longer we want to be able to remember something, the more often we have to repeat it. It is more effective if we practice over a shorter time but more often, more effective than if we do it over a longer time but nit as often. This means, for example, that it is better to read every other half-hour than to read continuously for two hours.
The eighth way to sharpen our memories is to put the information back into its context. For instance, looking at your photograph collection may make one remember one's holidays, pleasant times, etc. Maybe seeing your old shoes makes you remember the trips you took and the adventures you had in them. Remembering in that ways is more common among villagers than city dwellers. Villagers often don't know the exact date when their child was born but they remember an event that happened at that same time. So, putting something back into its context is a help to remembering more about that thing.
Anyhow, all of the above are ways which can be practiced by anyone. You can develop this knowledge if you want to. Make it interesting, in order not to get bored, and you will see the effect on your memory ability.