Improve Your Memory with These Simple Tips
If you are like me, you probably have walked into a room and couldn't remember why you were there in the first place, or set down your car keys with no recollection of where they are. Fortunately, my memory has improved greatly over the past years. It has been through these tips that I have increased my memory. Following these tips, I can't guarantee you'll always remember where those darn keys are, but you will find that you do think more clearly.
Brain Exercises to Improve Memory
One person, who I will forever be in awe of, is my 92 year old grandma. She is 92 and still as alert as, well me! I could say she has good genes, and I'm sure that is a big part of it, but she also did crosswords her entire life. She loved puzzles!
Then on the other side, after my grandfather had his stroke, he lost a lot of his memory. It has slowly come back, but I was not surprised when I discovered what the doctors told him to do to boost his memory: crossword puzzles, along with any other type of puzzles!
It' best if you do a variety of types of puzzles, as each kind exercises a different part of your brain. Crossword puzzles exercise your capability of thinking of a word, this will help you when you are trying to express yourself. Word searches help you to be more alert and pay closer attention, which will essentially help your memory retain what it has seen.
Some great suggestions:
- Crossword puzzles
- Word search
- Mensa activity books
- Even online games
- Write on Hubpages or journal
- Printable brain teasers found here
How Much Sleep Should I Get?
Can Exercise Improve Your Memory?
I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that the better shape your body is in, the better shape your mind is in. Basically the more fit your body is, the better circulation you have. The better circulation you have the better your brain is fed with a steady supply of oxygen. So not only will it benefit your memory in the here and now, but the more fit your mind will be as you get older.
It is recommended that you get thirty minutes a day of exercise three days a week. Along with exercising well, it is important to eat right as well. I recommend trying the couch to 5K program at coolrunnings.com. I did that and I am doing something I never thought I could do, due to my asthma, arthritis, and flat feet - running! This helps my mood, my sleep, and ultimately, you guessed it, my memory.
Sleep and Health
Getting plenty of sleep is an essential part of short-term memory. The more sleep you get, the better your short-term memory will be. Some people actually believe that the purpose of dreaming is to help us remember the day's events. Even if this is not true, recent studies done at Harvard University have proven that the amount of sleep a person gets in a night significantly impairs or promotes their ability to recall certain data.
There is also evidence that when we sleep, our mind is actually being remodeled. We often think of sleeping as a very passive activity, but truly sleeping is very active. It is restoring our damaged tissues and replenishing our bodies. We need a good amount of sleep in order to be fully functional at our top capacity.
Although they say most people need 8 hours of sleep, it is not unusual for someone to actually require as much as ten hours. Another person may be replenished after only seven hours of sleep. Everybody is different, and you need to be aware of your own needs regardless of statistical evidence.
Tips to Boost Memory
Memory Retention Tips: Increase Recall
There are also a lot of other ways you can retain information that may not fall into overall memory. Retention exercises work well when learning birthdates, appointments, names, data for a class, etc.
One example of what someone might do is to simply repeat it over and over, which seems a little lame, but it works. Make sure you also allow enough time to learn it. If you become distracted too soon after you hear data, you will forget it much more easily.
It's important to exercise this habit, which will make it easier to remember things with less repetitions, for example if you're a Christian, practice memorizing verses. If not, then you could practice memorizing the first fifty numbers to pi, or the names of Presidents in a row, the states in alphabetical order, the countries in Africa. Find something that interests you, and set your mind to memorize it. It will be a great exercise for your brain and will help you recall those facts when you don't have a pen. This type of training also will exercise your mind, which will improve your capacity to learn.
Take Care Of Your Brain
I know when trying to memorize a phone number, I don't only repeat it several times but I also create associations. For instance, last week I did not have a pen; therefore I remembered or rather associated the first three digits with a similar phone number. I also noticed that the last four were almost in a pattern: 1324 - up 2, down 1, up 2. I often think of things in mathematical patterns like this. For those non math lovers, any association you can make as well. For instance my husband's phone number in high school, was a square if you dialed it.
With names or other things, you use different associations. For instance, while trying to remember your friend's husband's name is Paul, you might associate his name with a rhyming word like tall. Hey look it's tall Paul. Or if he's round. Paul is round like a ball. The more unusual, the more likely you'll remember.
There are so many ways to improve your memory. But the truth of the matter is, if you want to have a better memory as you age, you need to start now. The more you practice, the better sleep you get, and the more you challenge your brain, the better your memory will be as you get into your aging years. If you want to be one of those people who are quick with wit at ninety, then you need to decide that you need to work on it now. Although genes have a lot to do with memory, there's a lot we can do that has nothing to do with our DNA makeup.
Try This Word Association Quiz
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© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz