Many people have a hard time remembering things. Students want to boost their memory to learn faster, and in the purpose to get high marks without resorting to assignment writing help services, adults want the same to be able to finish everything they need for the day. In short, we all want a better-working memory that will help us excel in life.
Before you go to the ways you can hack your brain to remember better, you first need to know what exactly memory is and how it is created.
There are two types of memory: short-term and long-term memory. The first is temporary and it usually serves to remember things you need to do at a particular moment, such as remembering a number you need to dial. However, the moment you dial the number, you kind of forget it (in most cases).
For this information to go into the long-term memory, it needs to be repeated, worked on, or put into the brain by using some tricks.
This requires a lot of effort and sometimes may require dramatical changing of your daily routine, but there are several strategies and techniques you can use to get more of your memory and are best for your memory and focus.
9 Effective Ways To Improve And Increase Memory In Older Adults
It is believed that people in old age cannot learn new things and enhance their grey matter. Fortunately, this isn’t true as the brain has the ability to change and adapt even in old age, and this ability is called neuroplasticity. When you stimulate your brain, you can create new neural pathways, alter the existing ones and adapt and react to them in ever-changing ways.
You can use the power of neuroplasticity to increase your memory and cognitive abilities, enhance the ability to learn new information and improve your memory at any age. These proven strategies will show you how to do this:
1. Give your brain a workout
Very similar to the body’s muscles, the brain needs regular exercise to be healthy and work properly. Mental workouts are essential for gray matter and for improving brain function. According to one study, just 15 minutes of brain activity 5 days per week may improve your brain function, and work, and improve short-term memory. One of the participants’ challenges was to recall details and quickly memorize patterns.
So, make some new brain-boosting activities and things that demand full attention and great mental effort, break your routine and challenge your brain to develop new brain pathways to help the memory loss.
2. Meditate and exercise
Researchers in one study observed the brains of people who meditate regularly and have found that it can make long–term changes in the brain and enhance the brain’s plasticity and its function. It can also reduce age-related brain degeneration. (1)
Exercise, overall, is a great exercise for brain health and helps your brain to stay sharp. Exercising increases the oxygen flow to your brain and reduces some other risks besides memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
One of the most beneficial exercises for boosting your brain is aerobic exercise and some physical activities like hand-eye coordination and some complex motor skills.
3. Keep stress in check
One of the first enemies of the brain is stress. If you are under stress chronically, it can destroy your brain cells and damage your hippocampus, the brain region where all new memory is formed and retrieved when needed. If you want to reduce stress, you can try the following tips:
- Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
- Set a healthy balance between work and leisure time
- Take breaks throughout the day
- Focus on one task at a time, rather than trying to multi-task
- Set a healthy balance between work and leisure time
- Set realistic expectations (and be willing to say no!)
4. Reduce sugar and high calories intake
Although sugary foods are very delicious, they may play a big role in memory loss. One animal study from 2017, found that a diet high in sugary drinks can be related to Alzheimer’s disease. (2)
Drinking too much fruit juice may be connected to lower brain volume, which can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, so try avoiding sugary foods and processed sugars. Still, natural sugars such as fruit are good for your healthy diet, and you shouldn’t cut on these food sources.
In addition, some research shows that high calories diet may lead to inflammation in some parts of the brain. For example, one study from 2009, had found that elderly human participants with an average age of 60 had a significant improvement in their memory when they reduced their calorie intake by 30%. (3)
5. Eat dark chocolate
Eating cocoa flavonoids, the active components of chocolate may improve a person’s memory.
In one study 30 healthy people who consumed dark chocolate had a better memory compared to people who consumed white chocolate without cocoa flavonoids. (4)
To reap all the benefits from dark chocolate, you should eat dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher to get a concentrated dose of antioxidants.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep is very important for memory consolidation and in case you lack sleep, you have a poor memory for a certain amount of time. For example, one study found that nurses who made night shifts scored lower on math tests compared to those who made day shifts. (5)
Health experts recommend 6 to 8 hours of sleep for adults because it is essential for optimal and overall health.
7. Increase caffeine intake
Caffeine may boost memory in the short term and in the long term. One study showed that coffee, as the most widely used stimulant, may improve short-term memory in students when taken in the morning. (6)
One other study found that participants who took coffee after a completed memory test boosted their memory compared to those who didn’t. (7)
8. Have a good laugh
Laughter is the best medicine; we all know that. What is more, it can improve your memory. When you listen to jokes, some areas of the brain are activated that are essential for creativity and learning. Contrary to emotional responses that activate specific brain areas, laughter engages more brain regions.
So, surround yourself with fun and playful people as their laughter is contagious, and try imitating children as they are the real laughter experts.
9. Make new friends
Many studies have shown that a life full of friends and entertainment has many benefits for your cognitive functions. According to one recent study by Harvard University, people with active social life tend to have better memory and don’t have any memory decline.
Relationships stimulate brains, and there are many ways to start socializing lie joining a club, volunteering, or seeing friends as much as you can.
8 Useful Methods To Boost Memory For Students
1. Visualize concepts
Most people benefit greatly from visualizing the information they study. When you study, try to visualize charts, graphics, and photographs in your textbooks. You can even try creating visual cues by yourself, in case you do not have any. When you study, try to draw charts and figures on the margins of your notes and use pens and highlighters in different colors to group related ideas.
2. Readout loud
You can use this useful concept when you study and learn new material. You can just try teaching new concepts and information to a friend with whom you are studying with on loud voice. According to one research from 2017, reading materials loud can significantly improve memorizing the material. (8)
3. Rehearse and elaborate
One of the most useful techniques to encode the study material into your long–term memory is a technique called elaborative rehearsal.
What does this mean? It means that when you are studying a new definition for a term, for example, you need to read the most detailed description of what it means and repeat the whole process several times until your recalling is easier than in the beginning.
4. Pay extra attention to complex information
The order of the information in the text plays a significant role in its memorizing, and you can easily notice that it is easier to remember text at the beginning of the chapter than at the end. This is called the serial position effect, according to scientists. (9)
So, when you start seeing that you have difficulties memorizing some part of the text, spend some extra time on it, or try reconstructing everything you have learned so it can be easier for you to remember.
5. Change your study routine
If you have a habit of studying in one specific location, you can move to a different one for your new study session. In addition, when you study in the evening, you can try reviewing the same study material when you wake up in the morning.
6. Use conditioned–reflex memories
In every second of your life, the brain lights up in different areas under the influence of what you perceive, do, and feel. The brain re-lives the memories by lighting up the same way it did when it first experienced them.
For example, a certain part of your brain will light up from listening to a song, while you are experiencing a strong emotion caused by the one you love (which will cause another area of the brain to light up), and so on, and so forth.
The next time you hear that song, your brain will light up in all areas it lit up when that memory was created. Thus, your brain will relive the moment that you will perceive as a memory. What song reminds you of someone you love or used to love?
This reflex can be easily hacked into and you can train your brain to experience the information you need. It’s a conditioned reflex, just like a mouse that has started associating food with the ring of a bell.
So, if you are preparing for an exam, you can do this:
Take a cheap perfume that you haven’t used before and that doesn’t associate your memories with anybody or anything. Spray it onto yourself while you are studying and take a shower when you are finished. Then you could go to bed (read more about sleep and memory below).
Next time you want to remember the information you gathered while wearing the perfume, spray some of it onto yourself again. However, don’t use the perfume in other situations, except for studying.
You can do this with other stimuli as well. Like rubbing a pebble with a unique texture, or chewing a pack of gum with a different flavor. Give it a try.
7. Improve your perception
Sometimes, conditioned-reflex memory won’t help you out too much. It requires meeting conditions that are sometimes hard to meet. Working on your perception will improve your memory.
So, how to work on increasing your perceptive abilities?
Start by paying attention to every detail you can notice, like signs, colors, smells, sounds – pretty much everything you can notice. Next, ask yourself what you saw, try to revise the things you just noticed, and try to remember how they were ordered, what they were like, etc.
Practice this, so that it becomes your habit – perceiving things around you can help you out for many things besides memory. However, this is only the first step.
Next, you need to start analyzing your knowledge. Start connecting the dots and see how everything relates to everything – it really does. You need to start analyzing every new information and put it in relation to what you already know.
Things that can be grouped are more easily remembered, so connecting information to each other is a key element to remembering them more easily. Eventually, this technique will help you to remember so much, that you may even feel overwhelmed.
8. Pass the knowledge on
Sharing is not only something that is useful for others, but also for yourself. It has been proven over and over again that the best memory retention happens when you pass on the knowledge. Teachers know so much about their subjects not because they are all geniuses, but because they pass on the knowledge every day.
Whatever you learn, try to share it with someone who might find it interesting. Discuss the interesting things about it and make sure they understand what you are speaking about. If you are able to pass the knowledge on, you understand it. And if you are able to understand it, you remember it.
5 Best Natural Supplements To Increase The Power Of Your Memory
Same as for your body, your brain needs a healthy diet to improve your memory, so try these nutrients and supplements as a natural medicine to boost your memory:
1. Get more Omega – 3
Many studies have shown that omega – 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for brain health. You can try eating more fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines and some non–fish resources like spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans. You can take Omega 3 as supplements, you can find many fish supplements online. Taking 1 gr. of EPA and DHA on a daily basis is recommended for keeping brain health. (10)
2. Gingko Biloba
This is a boosting memory supplement that many people take for boosting their memory. Despite this, results from studies related to ginkgo Biloba supplements are mixed. It is available online and in every near pharmacy near the corner.
This is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the human brain and it is found that it can prevent damage to the hippocampus, the most important part of the brain, that is related to memory loss. (11)
Some other animal studies proved that it can increase memory power and sharpen your memory. (12)
Still, additional research is needed to be more sure of its effects on humans. You find it in supplements in stores and online.
This is an amino acid that plays an important part in energy production and your metabolism, Moreover, there are studies that proved that it can make you feel more alert, boost your memory and slow down the aging process. It can also improve the signs of mild dementia in humans. (13)
You can buy it as a supplement in stores and online.
5. Vitamin B12
If you are deficient in this vitamin, it may cause a memory loss and scientists are doing some research to find the relation between the two. The risk of this vitamin deficiency increases as we grew older. You can take this vitamin naturally as it can be found in some foods such as fish in poultry or you can buy it online as a supplement.
Whatever you choose to be your main method of remembering things, you need to know this: certain circumstances contribute to better memory, while others make you forget things.
The most important thing that contributes to good memory is good sleep. The largest amount of information transfer from the short-term to the long-term memory happens during sleep. So, maintaining a good sleep pattern and at least 7 hours of sleep during the night is important.
Some foods can contribute to good memory, such as cocoa which can be found raw, powdered or in dark chocolate. Make sure to introduce it into your diet, if you haven’t already.
Memory’s worst enemy is stress. Although we face stress daily, make sure you find a way of combating it. The best practice for relieving stress is sport, meditation, and genuine fun. Spend time for yourself and relax when you can.
We hope you found this information useful!
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.