Just as you exercise every day to keep your body fit and toned, you also can exercise your memory to keep it sharp and clear. Not only can doing memory enhancing activities help improve your memory and concentration right now, science has shown that exercising your brain can protect you from memory loss as you age and even dementia.
To improve both your ability to retain memories and the ability to retrieve those memories later, there are some simple things that can help you:
1. Pay attention – You can’t truly learn something and imprint it upon your memory if you are not paying attention. It takes several seconds for the brain to process new information and store it in the right memory location. When you are learning something new that you want to remember, don’t be surrounded by distractions that will interfere with this process.
2. Use all five senses – How often have you had an old memory revived by a certain smell? Our brain makes associations using all five of our senses and these help to retain and retrieve this information at a later date. Use that to your advantage by involving more than one sense when you try to learn something new.
3. Practice, practice, practice – The old adage “practice makes perfect” stands true. The more often we go over something in our mind, the deeper that information will be implanted in our minds and memories. Go over what you want to remember periodically – relive the memory in your mind. Each time that you do, it is imprinted deeper into your subconscious.
4. Go with your personal learning style – Some people are highly visual and will remember what they say over all else. Others remember what they hear more clearly. Figure out which learning style is yours and learn new information in that way. If you are very visual oriented, then you may benefit most from learning from a video, for instance, while an auditory learner will do better with a audio recording of the same material.
5. Change your routine – If you normally take one route to get to the store, take a different one sometimes. We can become so stuck in the same old grind that our mind doesn’t really register our surroundings. When you go somewhere out of the ordinary, your mind perks up and pays more attention to what is going on around us.
6. Play games – It doesn’t have to be specific memory games, either – any games are good for our brains. From word games where you really need to concentrate and think to get the answers to board games such as Monopoly, your brain will love you for it. Fun activities are great for memory boosting because you relax and make it easier for things to imprint in your subconscious.
These are just a few tips and activities to improve memory – there are many other ways to help exercise your brains and increase your ability to retain information. The key is to make sure you do activities to improve memory every day and to vary these activities so they don’t become boring and stale.
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