Although many things about the brain are still unsolved mysteries, we’ve learned a lot about memory.
Your brain is made up of 100 billion neurons. As you grow up, develop, and gain wisdom from life experiences, these neurons become connected to each other and they communicate through these connections.
Memories are formed when certain neuron connections in the brain are strengthened by an event. Even though our brain takes in everything, if we don’t strengthen these connections, we tend to forget.
How can you improve your memory?
A big part of what you remember has to do with how much attention you pay to what’s going on around you. If you are intensely focused on a certain thing, your memory of the event will be stronger than something that happened in passing.
Here are some ways to strengthen your ability to recall memories:
1. Exercise and eat right. When you keep yourself in shape and eat foods that are good for your body and mind, everything just works better. Sounds like common sense, but that’s because it is!
2. Get enough sleep. Research has shown getting a good night’s sleep is a great way to help boost your memory. Your mind processes everything you went through during the day while you’re sleeping. It takes those events and files them away so you can recall them.
3. Create a rhyme or song. Try making a rhyme or song out of something you want to remember. The rhyme will stick in your head. Through repetition, you’re more likely to remember something important.
4. Write it down. Just the act of writing something down helps you recall it later. Not only are you thinking about something you wish to remember, you’re also visually focusing on it through writing it down.
5. Get enough beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been proven to help with your memory recall. You can get beta-carotene from orange vegetables, especially carrots. Just one serving a day will be a big boost to your memory.
6. Create acronyms. “Every Good Boy Deserves An Egg,” is the acronym many people learn to remember the notes of guitar strings: E-G-B-D-A-E. Make a saying or an acronym out of important information to help you remember it better.
7. Utilize repetition. If there’s something you need to learn or remember, repeat it over and over until it’s so deeply ingrained into your mind that nothing will get it out. It’s also repetition that enables you to learn new skills, after all, practice makes perfect!
8. Remove distractions. When you’re trying to commit something to memory, any distraction can take you off track and make it harder to absorb. Go somewhere quiet and comfortable and focus on what you wish to deposit into your memory bank.
9. Meditate. Teach yourself to meditate and clear your mind of all unimportant thoughts before you begin to study or learn something. It will help make your mind an open book for you to place information in so you can recall it again later.
The Most Important Tip
These are just some of the ways to help focus your mind on what you need to remember. Of all the techniques mentioned, sleep may very well be the most important action of all in your quest to have a better memory.
When you’re groggy, you can’t focus. When you can’t focus, you can’t remember things as easily.
Set a regular bedtime and avoid caffeine after a certain time in the afternoon. Next, put some exercise into your daily routine, but avoid exercise in the late evening. You may also want to turn off your computer and television an hour before bedtime.
At the end of the day, let your mind relax from the stimulation of the day’s events. This will also help ensure you receive a good night’s rest.
Once you’ve adjusted your sleeping routine to allow for increased memory performance, be sure to use these tips to help you strengthen your memory. If you don’t remember them, print out this page and refer to it often!