Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to look at a page in a book, and never forget what was written in it? Also, imagine if you could remember all your friends’ birthdays in your head!
The bad news is that not everyone has a photographic memory. It’s only a few that actually is enriched with the gift, the rest of us is dependent on various tips and tricks that can improve our memory.
The good news is that everyone, with time and practice, is capable of enhancing their memory. Whether you want to win the World Cup in memory, Trivial Pursuit or just remember where you put your keys, this article can get you started.
Set yourself up to it
Start by convincing yourself that you have a good memory and that it can be improved. Too many people get stuck here, and are convinced that they just are not good at remember names, numbers, etc.
Erase these thoughts and start believing that you can improve your memory. It’s hard to be motivated to remember if you give up before you have even tried.
Do brain workout
Regular “workout” of the brain can help improve memory. By developing new complex skills, such as learning a new language, learning to play a new music instrument or challenging your brain with puzzles and games, you can keep the brain active and improve its physiological function.
Try for example: crosswords, Soduko, and other games daily. Some games can even be downloaded to your mobile phone.
Doing “brain workout” for several minutes a day when you’re waiting for the bus or on the train can do a lot.
Exercise every day
Regular physical exercise where you get your heart rate up, improves your efficiency throughout the body – including the brain – and may help to ward off memory loss that comes with age.
Doing regular exercise makes you more alert and relaxed, and thus improves your concentration and learning ability.
Although chronic stress does not do physical damage to the brain, it can still make it difficult for you to remember. Stress can perhaps not be avoided in your life, but you can control it.
Try to relax, do yoga regularly or try other types of meditation.
Eat well and eat right
A healthy diet contributes to a healthy brain, and foods containing antioxidants such as broccoli, blueberries, spinach, berries and omega-3 fatty acids appear to promote healthy brain function.
In addition, your brain also needs energy in the form of glucose, and it should preferably be constant throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable.
You should therefore try to eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals, so you avoid a drop in blood sugar, which can have a negative influence on the brain.
Give yourself time to memorize things
Things you want to remember can disappear quickly again and if you get distracted, you can forget something as simple as a phone number. The key to avoiding to forget the things you want to remember, is to be able to focus on the things you want to remember for a while, without thinking of other things.
So if you want to remember something specific, avoid being distracted and it will stick.
Repeat things you need to learn
The more times you hear, see or think of something, the more certain it is that you remember it. When you want to remember something, whether it’s your new partner’s name or your best friend’s birthday, repeat it, either aloud or silently.
Try to write it down, tell it to others and think about it again and again.
Group things you need to remember
Random lists of things (a shopping list for example) can be especially hard to remember.
To make it easier, try to categorize the individual items from the list. If you remember that you, among other things, wanted to buy four different kinds of vegetables and their location in the supermarket, it will actually be easier to remember all four.
Organise your life
Keep items you frequently need, such as keys, wallet and glasses in the same place every time.
Use the calendar in your mobile phone to keep track of appointments, due dates for bills and other tasks. If you are more organized, it helps you to better concentrate on remembering less common, routine things.
Even if a more organised life does not directly improve your memory, it will still be an advantage because you e.g. do not have to use energy to look for your keys anymore.
The amount of sleep you get affects the brain’s ability to remember new information. Always try to get a good night’s sleep for at least 7-8 hours, it can improve your short-term memory and your learning ability.
Before you leave!
Do you have any other tips for how to improve your memory and do brain workouts? Let us know in the comments!