April 24, 2014 Elijah Ogidi-Olu 1 Comments

There is no such thing as a "bad memory", and everyone can improve their memory, as long as you are not suffering from memory loss as a medical condition. If you want to improve your memory, there are a number of things you can do, from eating blueberries to using a variety of mnemonic devices. If you're optimistic and dedicated, you'll be able to improve your memory, whether you want to win the World Memory Championships, ace your history test, or simply remember where you put your keys. I stumbled on some very helpful tips. Here:
  1. Use association to remember facts. To use association effectively, you can create an image in your mind to help you remember a word or an image. For example, if you have a hard time remembering that JFK was the president involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion, just picture the handsome president swimming in an ocean surrounded by happy, oinking pigs. This is absolutely silly, but this concrete image in your mind will forever help you link the president with this event                                                                                                                                  
  2. Use association to remember numbers. Let's say you keep forgetting your student ID every time you need to use it again. Just break down the number into smaller chunks and create images associated with those chunks. Let's say the number is 12-7575-23. Find a way to make these numbers meaningful. Let's say "12" happens to be your house number, "75" happens to be your grandmother's age, and the number "23" is Michael Jordan's jersey number. Here's what you can visualize to remember the number: Picture your house with two copies of your grandmother standing to the right, showing that the house comes first. Then imagine Michael Jordan standing to the right of your grandmothers. There you have it -- 12 (your house), 7575 (double-dose of Grandma) and 23, the basketball star.                                                                    
  3. Use chunking. Chunking is a way of grouping things together to help you memorize them. Random lists of things (a shopping list, for example) can be especially difficult to remember. To make it easier, try categorizing the individual things from the list. For example, list all of the fruits together, the dairy products together, and the bread products together. This will not only help you memorize the list, but it'll make your shopping experience much faster.
If you can remember that, among other things, you wanted to buy four different kinds of vegetables, you’ll find it easier to remember all four.
Chunking is what we do when we list a phone number with dashes. Which looks easier to memorize, 8564359820, or 856-435-9820?
You probably won't remember 17761812184818651898, but try putting a space after every fourth number. Now you can see that those numbers are years, and you can pick key events from each year to help you remember the string of numbers (such as the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, and Spanish-American War).
  1. Use rhymes. Using a variety of common and silly rhymes can help you recall basic information. For example, if you're trying to figure out if April has 30 or 31 days, just say the old rhyme aloud: "Thirty days has September, April, June, and November." Then you'll remember that April does indeed have 30 days. Here are some other rhymes to use as memory tools:[3]
"In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue."
A child can learn the alphabet by singing it to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," which makes the letters rhyme.
  1. Use acronyms. Acronyms are another wonderful tool for remembering a variety of things, from the names of the five Great Lakes to the words used as conjunctions. You can use a popular acronym, or create one for yourself. For example, if you're going to the store and know you only need Butter, Bread, Almond and Eggs, then just create a word out of the first letter of each term: "BABE" -- Butter, Almond, Bread and Eggs. Here are some popular acronyms to use:
ROY GBIV. This man's name can help you remember the colors of the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
FOIL. This will help you remember how to multiply two binomial terms: First, Outer, Inner, Last.
FANBOYS. This acronym can help you remember simple coordinating conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.
  1. Use acrostics. Acrostics are similar to acronyms, except instead of just remembering the acronym, you can remember a new sentence made out of the first letters of a set of words that you have to memorize in a certain order. For example, you can say, "My very educated mother just sent us nine pizzas" to learn the order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. You can also make up acrostics of your own. Here are a few more popular acrostics.
The above six points were grouped under Mnemonic devices. These are really tips in remembering things we would normally forget. Other interesting and simple tricks are:
  1. Imaginary writing. This helps in remembering a person's name. Use a popular trick; when a person introduces themselves to you, picture them with their name written on their forehead. This will associate the image of that person with their name.                                                                 
  2. Move your eyes from side to side. Studies show that moving your eyes from side to side for just 30 seconds once a day will align the two parts of your brain and make your memory work more smoothly. Try this trick when you wake up in the morning.                                                   
  3. Smell rosemary. Studies show that smelling rosemary can improve your recall. Carry around a spring of rosemary or smell rosemary oil once a day. The Ancient Greeks even put a spring of rosemary behind their ears on exam days to help them boost their memories.                               
  4. Use your environment. Change the normal location of things to remember to do something. If you need to remember to take your multivitamins every morning, then put the toaster on its side, and only put it back in its normal place after you've taken your vitamins. Seeing the toaster out of place will remind you that something is off and that there's something you need to remember.                                                                                                                                     
  5. Exercise your brain. Regularly "exercising" the brain keeps it growing and spurs the development of new nerve connections that can help improve memory. By developing new mental skills -- especially complex ones such as learning a new language or learning to play a new musical instrument -- and challenging your brain with puzzles and games, you can keep your brain active and improve its physiological functioning.
Try some fun puzzle exercises everyday such as crosswords, Sudoku, and other games which are easy enough for anyone.
Get out of your comfort zone and pick something that is new and challenging, which makes you flex your brain muscles. Try to play chess or a fast-paced board game.
  1. Stop thinking that you have a "bad memory." Convince yourself that you do have a good memory that will improve. Too many people get stuck here and convince themselves their memory is bad, that they are just not good with names, that numbers just slip out of their minds for some reason. Erase those thoughts and vow to improve your memory. Celebrate even little achievements to keep yourself motivated.                                                                                       
  2. Say things you want to remember aloud. If you have trouble remembering whether you took your medication every morning, just say, "I just took my medication!" right after you took it, to reinforce this idea in your mind. Saying this aloud will help you remember that you did indeed take your medication.
This also works if you're meeting a new person and don't want to forget his name. Just repeat the name naturally after you learn it: "Hi, Sarah, it's nice to meet you."
This also works to remember an address or a meeting time. Just repeat it aloud to the person who invited you: "The Grand Tavern at 7? That sounds perfect."
  1. Deepen your breathing when you have to remember something. When it's time to study or remember something new, switch your breathing pattern to be slower and deeper. Deeper and slower breathing actually changes the way your brain works, by inducing the brain's electrical pulses to switch to Theta waves, which normally occur in your brain in hypnogogic sleep.
To activate your Theta waves, switch your breathing to your lower abdomen - in other words, start breathing deeply from your stomach. Consciously slow your rate of breathing too.
After a few moments, you should feel calmer, the Theta waves should be flowing in your brain, and you should be more receptive to remembering new information.
  1. Don't cram for an exam. Cramming only works to put information in your short-term memory. You may remember the information for your exam the next day, but you will barely recall the unit when it's time to take the final. Spacing out your studying is important because it gives your brain time to encode the information and store it in your long-term memory.
And those are the tips I got for improving ones memory. I’ve been on my memory skills and will definitely add some of the tips here to make me even better.
Oh!... Then the final tip I almost forgot to mention and which is the basis of most people’s memory problem is:
Sleep well. The amount of sleep we get affects the brain's ability to recall recently learned information. Getting a good night's sleep -- a minimum of seven hours a night -- may improve your short-term memory and long-term relational memory, according to recent studies conducted at the Harvard Medical School.
    Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every night. This will make you feel much more rested.
    Spend at least half an hour reading in bed and winding down before you go to bed.
    Shut off the TV, your computer, and any other visual stimulants at least an hour before bed.
    Take catnaps during the day. They can help you recharge your batteries and boost your memory.
There can’t be change without sacrifice. To improve your memory you have to work on it.

Mature Minds Talk.

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1 comment:

  1. Great tips! Mnemonics worked for me in school