How to Improve Memory

Wouldn’t it be nice to just look at some page and never forget what was on it? What if you can never forget the birthdays and anniversaries of your close ones? But, the fact is that not all are blessed with a photographic memory. Today, most of us rely on mnemonic devices. However, we do have the innate ability to transcend, and we can achieve perfection in any specified activity pertaining to our daily lives. And the good part about it is that medical researchers have managed to derive certain steps to improve your memory, and almost all of them are based on a natural approach.

how to improve memoryMemory has mass, and is considered as our interface, which has the ability to accumulate, preserve, remember, and access information, when in need. Philosophy was the only field from which the study of memory originated, eventually constructing a pathway for memory improvement as of today. In recent times, philosophy has become an important branch of science, as the world started noticing the efficiency of cogitative analysis, and the precision in the resulting judgments or conclusions. Learning is gaining of knowledge, and memory facilitates the storage and restoration of this knowledge.

There are three important phases of memory:

  • Sensory memory is the ability to remember or memorize anything that you have just seen a second before
  • Short-term memory enables you to remember a few minutes or seconds about an event
  • Long term memory enables the storage of data for a long time, with detailed information, where it’s capacity is infinite

How to improve memory

You will have to start by convincing yourself that you are developing your memory. Most people simply blame themselves for not being able to remember the essentials, and convince themselves that they have a bad memory. Now, in order to cause a desirable change to happen, these thoughts or states of mind need to be channelized into improving your memory.  Keep yourself motivated in the first place, and this will initiate the required process. This is not just philosophy to be praised and let go of. Following this step would create a great foundation for developing your memory skills.

Memory recall can be practiced in the best way by associating things that you want to remember, with something else that can be captured instantly. Association will work if you make vivid and memorable images. It is a known fact that, you will remember information more easily if you are able to visualize it. If you want to visualize a child with a book, then never visualize a child reading that book, because you can easily forget this. Instead, you will have to come up with something that is more jarring, something that will stick to you, like a book chasing the child, or the child trying to eat the book. Now the latter visualizations are catchy, and can easily be stored in our memory. Similarly, develop a way of looking at things, without changing their meaning, so that when you recall a particular bit of information, its interpretation remains the same.

Given below are few tips for improving you memory naturally:

  • Group all the information you have to help you remember; this is known as chunking. A random list will be very difficult to remember. If you want to remember the list, then you will have to categorize the things in the list, or come up with a short form using the initials and grouping them accordingly, so as to make sense. Let’s consider a grocery list for an example - Goats cheese, Oregano, Celery, Rosemary, Spring Onions, Asparagus, Sugar, Olive oil, Toothpaste, Garlic, and Moisturizer. Take the initials of these items and you have G, Or, C, R, So, A, Su, Oo, T, Ga, and M, respectively. This can be regrouped into SoSu, GOoT, CAR, and GaMOr. Now, aren’t these four words easier to remember?
  • Try repeating the information that you want to memorize regularly, maybe once every few hours or few days. This is also known as learning by spaced repetition. Always remember that you are more likely to remember recent events, and moments in life that you have experienced with greater frequency or intensity. Therefore, you will have to constantly repeat the associations and mnemonics to yourself on a regular basis.
  • Learn to organize your life. Keep things that you need frequently, like sunglasses or keys, in the same place everyday. Use a daily planner or an electronic organizer for keeping a track on your appointments, bills to be paid and those overdue etc. If you improve your organizational skills then it will subconsciously trigger your concentration on everything essential.

General Advice for improving memory

  • Like any other muscle of our body, the brain needs exercise, in order to spur the development of new nerve connections, which will help to improve your memory. Keep your brain active by learning new languages or musical instruments. Try your hands on crossword, sudoku, or chess. These games help you to exercise your brain which in turn improves your memory.
  • Exercise everyday. Regular aerobics will help improve the circulation of blood throughout the body, and the efficiency of your body and brain. Exercise will also prevent memory loss during the gradual aging process. Regular workout keep you relaxed and aware, and this will improve your memory uptake, letting you take better mental pictures. 
  • Constant stress causes a considerable amount of brain damage, and memorizing can eventually become difficult. Realize that all the stress is caused due to inability to spot an order in a chaotic situation, which triggers denials and indecisiveness. Apparently, stress is an illusion, which is held on to, will only cause your life to seem like a malfunction. Giving away to stress will only signify an extended disturbance. So, ensure that you imagine beyond stress, and you’ll find yourself resolving problems.
  • Eat well and at the right time, you will find a lot of herbal supplements in the market that claim to improve your memory, but they are not of much help, unless you maintain a healthy diet. Always have a well nutritious diet, it works as a tonic to the brain, eat foods which are rich in antioxidants like spinach, broccoli, blueberries and berries.
  • Take better mental pictures. Most of the times we will forget things not because we have a bad memory, but because we don’t observe or listen carefully. This is why we face problems remembering the people whom we met recently, or those whom we seldom meet, and often tend to forget their names. Here’s a simple exercise to tackle this malfunction – Consider observing an unknown picture for a little while, then keep the photo aside, and try to pen down the details of the picture. Repeat this exercise everyday, and you will spot the changes yourself.
  • Always give yourself enough time to form a memory. Remember that memories are fragile and short-term; distractions will make you forget things quickly. The only key to avoid losing your memory is better focus on things and avoiding distractions.
  • Sleep well, because the amount of sleep we get will always influence the brain’s functioning, and its’ ability to recall what you have learned recently. You should get a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep.

Other ways to remember things

Try few methods to help you remember things, like putting a black ink dot on the end of our palm; and whenever you look at that dot, you will remember that you have to do something important today. Write down the important tasks and events for the day, or leave yourself a voicemail.

Improving memory signifies healthier and more connections between brain cells, which facilitates its communication with its own cells. And faster the rate of signals being sent or received, the more efficient your memory will become. Meditation and Yoga are of prime importance to humankind, and we need to incorporate these practices to bring order and discipline in our lives.


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  5. How to Improve Your Vocabulary

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