Our memory at times can seem fickle and hard to manage. But that might be because we are approaching it the wrong way. Here are 5 things to consider as you try to improve your memory.
- Forgetting helps us learn and memorize
It’s ok to forget. Remembering everything would be massively confusing. Our brains, therefore, prioritize the most recent memories. Forgetting is a way to access our more relevant memories, at that moment, at a faster rate. Wouldn’t you rather know where you put your keys yesterday than, let’s say, everybody’s birthday? So, don’t beat yourself up if you forget, it’s part of the process.
- Quit multitasking, and focus on one thing at a time
A study shows it takes eight seconds to fully commit a piece of information to memory. Concentrating on the task at hand is crucial. When you park your car in a big parking lot, strange as it may seem, announce out loud – “I’m parking at section D, number 17!”. If chatting with your friend on the phone at the same time, you are splitting your focus and you aren’t giving yourself the chance to commit the necessary memory at hand.
- Hit the gym or simply exercise
Researchers from the University of California, at Irvine, discovered exercise doesn’t only build muscles, but brains – literally. Not only can it actually increase your brain size, but even riding a stationary bike for six minutes, gives an individual better results on a memory test than doing nothing at all.
One of the best methods for remembering information is not to chronologically study the subject, but rather to switch off. A constant reloading of different information allows one’s mind to better recall new memories. For instance, if you are studying guitar, you shouldn’t just study scales one week, chords the next, and go back and forth. Rather, mix it all together and switch off within the same practice day. The problem is you might start off worse, and not feel as if you are progressing, but in the long run you’ll retain it better.
- Sleep more
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that sleeping only four hours can harm your memory. Memories are briefly stored before they are consolidated for permanent storage. The advice is to sleep between seven to eight hours at night.
There you go! That’s easy to remember, right?
FORGET, FOCUS, EXERCISE, RELOAD & SLEEP – these five easy tips will help you to improve your memory effortlessly.