Wouldn’t it be nice just look at a piece of document and never forget what was printed there? What if you could never again forget a friend’s birthday? Not everyone has a photographic memory, otherwise known as eidetic memory. Only a few actually have it, the rest rely on mnemonic devices.
The good news is, everyone can take steps to improve their memory, and with time and practice most people can gain the ability to memories seemingly impossible amount of information.
Whether you want to win the World Memory Championships, ace your history test, or simply remember where you put your keys, below are some tips to get you started.
1. Convince Yourself You Have A Good Memory.
Too many people get stuck here and convince themselves that their memory is bad, that they are just not good with names, that numbers just slip out of their minds. Erase those thoughts and promise to improve your memory.
2. Exercise Your Brain
Regularly ‘exercising’ the brain keeps it growing. By developing new mental skills-especially complex ones such as learning a new language or learning to play a new musical instrument-and challenging your brain with puzzles and games, you can keep your brain active and improve its physiological functioning.
3. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress will affect your health and your memory. The best option is to learn to control stress. Stress will never be eliminated, but it definitely can be controlled. Try to relax, regularly practice yoga or other stretching exercises.
4. Eat Well And Eat Right
There are many herbal supplements on the market that claim to improve memory (like ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine). A healthy diet contributes to a healthy brain, and foods containing antioxidants-broccoli, blueberries, spinach, and berries, for example-and Omega-3 fatty acids appear to promote healthy brain functioning.
5. Improve Observation Skills
Often we forget things not because our memory is bad, but rather because our observational skills need work. One common situation where this occurs (and which almost everyone can relate to) is meeting new people. Often we don’t really learn people’s names at first because we aren’t really concentrating on remembering them. You’ll find that if you make a conscious effort to remember such things, you will do much better.
6. Give Yourself Time
Memories are very fragile in the short-term, and distractions can make you quickly forget something as simple as a phone number. The key to avoid losing memories is to be able to focus on the thing to be remembered without thinking about other things. Avoid distractions and complicated tasks for a few minutes.
7. Create Vivid, Memorable Images.
You remember information more easily if you can visualize it. If you want to associate a child with a book, try not to visualize the child reading the book – that’s too simple and forgettable. Instead, come up with something more jarring, something that sticks, like the book chasing the child, or the child eating the book. It’s your mind – make the images as shocking and emotional as possible to keep the associations strong.
8. Repeat Things You Need To Learn
The more times you hear, see, or think about something, the better you will remember it. It’s a no-brainer. When you want to remember something, be it your new co-worker’s name or your best friend’s birthday, repeat it, either out loud or silently. Try writing it down; think about it. The key lies in ‘Spaced Repetition’ learning.
9. Group Things You Need To Remember
Random lists of things (a shopping list, for example) can be especially difficult to remember. To make it easier, try categorizing the individual things from the list. If you can remember that, among other things, you wanted to buy four different kinds of vegetables, you will find it easier to remember all four.
10. Organize Your Life
Keep items that you frequently need, such as keys and eyeglasses, in the same place every time. Use an electronic organizer or daily planner to keep track of appointments, due dates for bills, and other tasks. Keep phone numbers and addresses in an address book or enter them into your in an address book or enter them into your computer or cell phone. Improved organization can help free up your powers of concentration so that you can remember less routine things.