How would you rate your memory?

If you consider it to be excellent maybe you have no need to read any further. If, on the other hand you wish you could trade it in for a better model, all is not lost because there are a number of suggestions in this article about techniques to charge your memory.

A commonly held belief is that our memory always deteriorates with advancing years but that’s a misconception.

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The part of our brain called the hippocampus, or memory centre can continue to regenerate throughout our lifetime if we are willing to pay some attention to it. Fortunately that doesn’t involve open brain surgery or anything painful!

1. Stop negativity

If you are in the habit of telling yourself that you have a terrible memory – stop it right now.

You may be aware of the term self fulfilling prophecy.

Your powerful unconscious mind responds to what it perceives as instructions, so dispense with the negative thoughts and statements and start today by frequently thinking more positively about your memory’s capabilities.

2. Take exercise

There is exercise and there is exercise and it’s not suggested that you need to run regular marathons, lift enormous weights or spend your life in the gym to improve your memory but it is known that exercise stimulates nerve cells to multiply and that those cells release proteins.

One protein in particular triggers other chemicals beneficial to brain functions including learning.

In 2010 a study on primates published in Neuroscience also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain, but also helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys.

Another year long study on humans who engaged in regular exercise showed that their brain’s memory centre expanded one to two percent a year. The expectation would be that a gradual decline would otherwise occur.

3. Eat the right foods

There are many articles to be found on the Internet and here, on WatchFit, about particular foods widely believed to improve memory. These include fresh vegetables and healthy fats.

Avoiding or reducing sugar and grain carbohydrates is another recommendation.

4. Get a good night’s sleep

Some research at Harvard showed that people are about 33 percent more likely to recognise connections between distantly related ideas after a good night’s sleep.

techniques to improve memory_2Sleep deficit, (losing out on regular sleep) quite quickly results in a marked reduction in the ability to concentrate and quickly recall information.

Power napping around mid-day has been shown to considerably boost and restore brain power. Power napping before getting on with your after work life is likely to be helpful too.

5. Stop multi tasking

Carrying out several tasks at the same time is not helpful for memory improvement.

Research has shown that we need on average about eight seconds to enable a piece of information to be firmly lodged in our memory.

So if we engage in doing several things at the same time such setting the timer on the microwave, holding a conversational on the phone, putting various kitchen utensils back in the cupboard, while at the same time keeping an eye on the children fighting over the TV remote control – it might not be surprising for you to discover next day that you can’t remember where you put the cheese grater or what exactly it was that you had promised to do for your friend on the phone.

Concentrate exclusively on an important activity to enhance your ability to remember the detail fully.

6. Learn a new skill

Various researches have shown that learning, a craft reduces stress and enhances well-being as well as reducing the risks of dementia in older people.

It’s not just the elderly who can benefit from engaging in a mentally stimulating activity like learning to play a musical instrument, gardening or taking part in amateur dramatics, because those kinds of activity will enhance memory.

It’s important that the activity should be looked forward to and seriously enjoyed.

7. Use brain training exercises

There are various websites offering brain games and brain training exercises that are designed to fully stimulate thinking, reasoning and memory.

techniques to improve memory_3Some are completely free of charge.

8. Play with Mnemonics

You may be familiar with Roy G Biv, the initial letters of the colours of the rainbow: Red, Orange,Yellow, etc. Inventing your own mnemonics might be challenging but is great for stimulating your brain.

An excellent way of creating and remembering computer passwords is to choose a line from a poem or song and use the initial letters.

A popular method for remembering people’s names is to associate the name with a mental picture of an object.

Easy examples are surnames like, Carter, (a cart), Peacock (the bird). A great source of ideas for memory improvement can be found in various book titles by author Tony Buzan.

So if you’re willing to make a few simple changes, your grey cells will go on indefinitely helping you to continue remembering your name, where you live and much, much more!

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