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6 Extremely Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory

How Memories are Formed

  1. Create a memory. Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we're experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called synapses.
  2. Consolidate that memory. It's the process of committing something to long-term memory so we can recall it later. Much of this process happens while we're sleeping as our brains recreate that same pattern of brain activity and strengthen the synapses created earlier.
  3. Recall. Recalling a memory is easier if it has been strengthened over time.

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6 Extremely Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory

6 Extremely Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory

https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/6-extremely-effective-ways-to-improve-your-memory.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

How Memories are Formed

  1. Create a memory. Our brain sends signals in a particular pattern associated with the event we're experiencing and creates connections between our neurons, called synapses.
  2. Consolidate that memory. It's the process of committing something to long-term memory so we can recall it later. Much of this process happens while we're sleeping as our brains recreate that same pattern of brain activity and strengthen the synapses created earlier.
  3. Recall. Recalling a memory is easier if it has been strengthened over time.

Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory

  • Meditate to improve working memory. Take a pause to empty your mind and to reduce stress.
  • Although still debatable, drink coffee to help improve memory consolidation.
  • Eat berries for better long-term memory. Berries contain flavanoids,  which appear to strengthen connections in the brain.
  • Exercise not only to improve memory recall, but also to enhance cognitive abilities.
  • Chew gum to make stronger memories. It is proven that it increases activity in the hippocampus. It also increases heart rate which causes more blood to flow in the brain.
  • Sleep more to consolidate and easily remember memories.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Say it out loud

Learning and memory benefit from active involvement. When you add speaking to it, the content becomes more defined in long-term memory and more memorable.

Take notes by hand

Most of us can type very fast, but research shows writing your notes by hand will allow you to learn more.

Taking notes by hand enhances both comprehension and retention.

Chunk your study sessions

Studying over a period of time is more effective than waiting until the last minute.

Distributed practice works because each time you try to remember something, the memory becomes harder to forget.

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Memorizing new material

When we try to memorize new information, we assume that the more work we put in, the better we will do.

But, our memory for new information is the most fragile just after it has first been en...

Take some downtime

Aiming for minimal interference - to do literally nothing - is the best way to consolidate the facts and remember it better.

Research found that short periods of rest increased the ability to recall information up to 30 % in healthy individuals. For people with neurological injury, such as a stroke, the ability to recall after some rest, places them almost within the range of healthy people.

We remember better after rest

When memories are initially encoded, they pass through a period of consolidation that cements them in long-term storage.

It was once thought to happen mostly during sleep; studies have found that it is not limited to sleep, because it happens during periods of wakeful rest, too.

Your memory depends on context

If we learn facts while we are doing something, we will be able to recall them better, when we are doing that same thing again.

You can use this information to your advanta...

Early memories are not reliable

Scientists believe that it is impossible to recall the first few years of life. Many of the necessary brain structures for memory have not yet matured at the time. It means that it is physiologically impossible for your brain to remember personal events from infancy.

Any recollections are patched together from other knowledge we acquired later on.

Your mental timeline is skewed

Research has shown that we often underestimate the amount of time that has passed from long ago, and overestimate the amount of time that has passed since more recent events.

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Memory cues
Memory cues

They are objects or events that help trigger an action or a memory of that action. 

They can be either intentional (a reminder on our phone) or unintentional 

Different types of memory cues
  • Internal memory cues are patterns of thinking that help trigger a specific memory. For example, mental imagery, which involves visualizing a certain scene happening, can serve as an internal reminder of an event that happened.
  • External memory cues are objects or events that trigger a memory that they are associated with. For example, a glass of water next to your bed is an external reminder to drink water when you wake up.
Example of exernal cues
  • To remember to floss your teeth, put the box with the floss on top of your tube of toothpaste.
  • To remember to take a pill each morning, put the pills next to whatever you usually eat for breakfast.
  • To start the day by writing, put a piece of paper with a reminder on top of your keyboard.
  • You can use your watch as a reminder to take things easy, so that every time you look at it you remember to relax a little.

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The Science of Memory
  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...
Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory
  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.
Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

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Exercises For Posture Correction
Exercises For Posture Correction
  • Plank: Hold the initial push-up position, legs straight. Don’t allow your lower back to sink, and make sure you are looking down at the floor. 
  • Wall Angels: Lean bac...
Posture Belt

Wearing a posture belt during the first few hours of morning is good practice. 

  • Place the strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.
  • Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.
  • Cross the strap in the back holding one end in each hand.
  • Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.
Reverse Plank Bridge
  • Keep your arms straight and pull your shoulders back.
  • Bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Push your chest up and extend your spine.
  • Your fingers can be pointed forward or backward.

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The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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Memory And The Brain

Memory is the brain’s way of integrating sensory-motor information into a symbolic representation that allows prediction of future occurrences. To better memorize it’s important to engage wi...

Connect & Link (The Link Method)

This memorization technique involves creating associations between items in a list and assigning images to each connection to help you memorize better. 

For instance, your accounting exam is tomorrow and you need to memorize which items fall under the Current Asset section of a balance sheet (Cash, Inventories, Accounts receivable, Prepaid expenses).

Make a Story (The Story Method)

This approach is really similar to the Link Method. While you create a bunch of different images between each two items using the Link Method, you combine everything into one big picture with the Story Method. This technique helps you memorize the sequence of the images and hence the order of the items. 

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We are creative in the morning and analytical at night

Your brain is more creative in the morning and more analytical at night.

Use your analytical evening strength to provide a simple plan and starting-point so your cr...

Tim Ferriss
Tim Ferriss

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” 

Become very good at living each day

Momentum is created or destroyed every day with the first few decisions you make.

If you learn to master your day, you’ll learn how to master your weeks, months, years, and life.

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The different kinds of memories
The different kinds of memories

We hold on to different kinds of memories.

  • Short-term memories last seconds to hours and long-term memories last for years.
  • We also have a...
Where your brain keeps memories

By studying people with amnesia, it seems that short-term and long-term memories don't form in precisely the same way, nor do declarative and procedural memories.

  • Emotional responses such as fear occur in a brain region called the amygdala.
  • Memories of learned skills are associated with the region called the striatum.
  • The hippocampus is essential for forming, retaining, and recalling declarative memories.
  • The temporal lobes play a critical role in forming and recalling memories.
How we experience memories

Memories are held within groups of neurons called cell assemblies. They fire as a group in response to a specific stimulus, such as recognising your friend's face.

The more neurons fire together, the more the interconnection of the cells strengthen. We experience the nerves' collective activity as a memory.

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