Every one of us has a limitless memory capacity. Our brains can store everything and then some. But the problem is recalling the information. If you need some memory boost, here are some of the things you can do to improve it.
Repetition is the Key
When you want to remember something you’ve read, heard, or thought about, all you have to do is write it down or repeat it out loud. It’s not just repeating the word or phrase over and over again, use a technique called spaced repetition. This memorization technique starts with short intervals (2 to 4 days) between practice sessions. Whenever you successfully remember, increase the interval. This keeps memorization challenging enough to drive into your long-term memory. If you forget a word, start with short intervals and work your way back to the long ones until the word or phrase sticks to you.
Write it Down
Put away your smartphone or laptop. You are most likely to remember when you write it by hand. Handwriting is preferable to your digital devices when improving your memory because the physical act of writing stimulates the cells and base of your brain. When your brain is more active, it pays more attention to what you are doing at the moment.
Take Advantage of Mnemonics
A Mnemonic is any system or device designed to aid memory. These are usually patterns of letters, ideas, or associations. Your mnemonic devices can take in the form of acronyms, sentences, phrases.
It takes work and creativity to sharpen your memory this way, but it helps to retain the information much longer than simply memorizing a word or phrase in order.
Create a Memory Palace
A memory palace is a tried and tested mnemonic device invented by orators in ancient Roman and Greek times. This technique is very effective and enjoyable to use especially when you are trying to remember a speech or remember words or phrases that are excruciatingly long.
With this type of technique, you associate a location you are familiar with such as the block you grew up in, your home, the route you take from work or school, and place representations of what you want to remember to it.
Become Interested in What You Are Memorizing
We find it a lot easier to memorize things when we are interested in it. For example, it is easier for us to remember the names of the people we find attractive than the names of those we are not interested in. If you are not interested in remembering anything, we need to find a way to become so.
Another easy method to improve your memory is to chew gum while you are learning something new. A study published showed that participants who completed a memory recall task were more accurate and had a higher reaction time if they chewed gum.
Chewing gum increases activity in the hippocampus, the important area of the brain responsible for memory.
Get Enough Sleep
It is when we sleep that most of our memory consolidation process happens; therefore, it makes sense that without adequate sleep, we find it hard to remember the things we’ve learned. It’s not just sleeping 6 to 8 hours per day. Even a small nap can improve memory recall. In one study of participants memorizing a set of cards – one group took a 40-minute break, while the other group napped. After the break, those who napped performed significantly better than those who remained awake.
Whichever method you choose, remember that the methods above do not work as a one-time solution. Once you learn how to retain information faster, and more efficiently, you’ll be ahead of those who rely on phones and laptops to recall bits of information.