How YOU Can Improve Your Memory

Argh! I can’t remember what I’ve read yesterday! Ridiculous!” Ever experienced this? Sometimes we just find ourselves forgetting what we think we will never forget. Isn’t it annoying? So, what we can do about this? Is there anything that we can do to mitigate the process of forgetting? Or are we all destined to forget everything we have learnt? Well, both yes and no. In this post, I will show you how YOU (yes, you) can improve your memory. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll never ever miss any new articles!

#1: Focus!

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In my previous articles, I touched on the fact that the brain is simply unable to multitask and that trying to do so will only kill your productivity. This applies to memory as well. Doing more than two things at once affects how your mind encodes information. Often, we find ourselves forgetting what we have learnt or read and we blame it on our mind’s inability to recall information. Let me ask you this question. How can your mind forget something that was not even stored in your brain in the first place? Well, stop blaming your poor brain. Instead, amend your bad habits. Let’s say that you want to study a chapter of Chemistry today. To facilitate a conducive learning environment, you should place all your electronic devices somewhere inaccessible, perhaps in a locked drawer. Furthermore, practice mindfulness when you study. This means staying focused and motivated with your work at hand. (No daydreaming!) This allows your mind to absorb information much more readily.

#2: Method of Association – Using Mnemonics and Acronyms

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The mind is an efficient machine. In other words, your mind will instantly delete anything it deems useless so as to ensure the healthy functioning of the brain. This also effectively prevents information overload as it allows the individual to only remember what he/she needs for survival. This can be both good and bad. Sometimes, your mind interprets what you think is useful as trash and the vice versa is true as well. Why is it that we can remember the embarrassing moments of the past without flaw, while we struggle to remember what we have read as recently as a day ago? This is because your mind places different degrees of importance on different memories. Let’s say you tripped and fell due to a plastic bag on the ground a year ago. I bet you will most likely recall this event today! In this case, this is because your brain has judged this memory as essential to your survival, thus effectively preventing you from making the same mistake again. Do you remember the times when people laughed at you? I can confidently say that you do as well! So why is it that your brain still retains such humiliating memories? In the early history of mankind, being part of a group was a matter of life and death. Being alone only increases one’s chances of being lost and being hunted by predatory animals. As a result, our minds have evolved to prioritise social cohesion and that aforementioned memory (the one about you being laughed to death by others) helps you to understand the minds of others and spurs you to fit in. Meanwhile, our minds have developed to appreciate humour, with the same purpose of helping one build friendships and social connections with other fellow humans.

So what does this have to do with improving our memory? To retain information much more effectively, we can learn to take full advantage of the evolutionary features of our brains. We can do this by using acronyms to represent lists or sentences. The funnier and weirder the acronym, the better the recall effectiveness. You could also utilise rhymes to remember certain information. For instance, “A knight on the rim is grim.” helps chess players remember that a knight is most powerful in the centre of the board.

#3: Taking Omega-3 Supplements

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Our brains are about 60% fat. The architecture of our minds are such that we require an adequate amount of fatty acids to sustain its performance. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in this. Research has shown that consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, which include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), help to build cell membranes and prevent inflammation in the body. Meanwhile, Omega-3 fatty acids are key components in the myelin sheaths of neurones, which insulates nerve fibres and increases transmission speed of nerve impulses. This boosts memory formation and increases the processing speed of the mind. In fact, the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to prevent certain psychotic disorders such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion

I hope that this article gave you insights into the inner machinations of the brain and how you can improve your memory. If you did enjoy this article or have found it useful, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more articles and thanks for reading!

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Music

Listening to music is something many of us do to counteract boredom and for good reason. Many of us subscribe to Spotify and Deezer, while others listen to the radio. Indeed, music is an integral part of our lives. Many of us wouldn’t be able to live without it. But did you know that it has many benefits? This article will show you why you should listen to music. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Music Brings Us To Other Worlds

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You could be listening to Vivaldi, Beethoven or Taylor Swift. Music offers us a break from our hectic lifestyles and brings us to other worlds. As you listen to Vivaldi’s pieces, you might imagine and contemplate the beauty of the four seasons. Meanwhile, Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries gives you the feeling of adventure and excitement. You could feel like Rambo eating that sandwich or Indiana Jones driving to work. I am unable to account for all genres of music, but you get what I mean.

#2: Music Boosts Memory

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The brain is a muscle. Use it and it grows; leave it and it atrophies. Music stimulates many parts of the mind. Like reading, listening to music ensures that our minds are in top shape and running well. Improved memory also comes with reduced stress and anxiety, which we will touch in point #3.

#3: It Relieves Stress and Anxiety

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Music shifts our attention away from our surroundings. Our feelings of stress and anxiety fades away as we listen to the music we love. For example, some intense orchestral tracks might make you feel like you’re saving the world. On the other hand, tracks with a slow tempo might help you to relax.

#4: Provides Concentration

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I think we can all agree that silence can be very grating and unbearable at times. We start to become distracted by just about everything in our surroundings. This is especially true when we feel unmotivated to complete our tasks or assignments. Slipping on a pair of headphones, however, solves this problem. The music you are listening to shuts out the world around you and focusing becomes much easier. Now Math homework feels like Mission Impossible. (Not because the Math is impossible, mind you, but rather because of the intensity of the movies)

Conclusion

Listening to music is part of being human. Our ancestors understood the value and significance of music as a form of communication, a form of enjoyment and a form of entertainment. What’s stopping us from doing the same? If this article was a good read, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!