How to Improve Your Memory

Improving your memory has its many advantages. Many students, especially, would probably like to improve their memories to do better on exams. In fact, even in daily living and while working, a better memory would help the completion of tasks more easily. Therefore, improving one's memory is a vital skill in today's society. Try the following suggestions.

Relax.  Just relax when learning new things. If you are uptight, you won't be able to remember as well. Therefore, relax fully when you learn. Do not worry about forgetting something because it will just make it worse. Just relax. The more relaxed you are, the better you will be able to absorb and assimilate information. Be both mentally and physically relaxed.

Get more sleep.  Sleep helps you remember the past. It helps consolidate what you learned during the day. Therefore, sleep plentifully. Do not be stingy about the amount of sleep that you give yourself. One type of sleep, rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep, is especially useful for consolidating memories. Therefore, the more you sleep, the more chances you have of eliciting this type of sleep. Besides, sleep is good for your health, and if you are more healthy, you are more likely to remember.

Repeat.  Usually, by learning what you have learned over and over, you will transfer the piece of information from your short-term to your long-term memory. Once it is in your long-term memory, it will be more difficult for you to forget. By repeating what you have learned again and again, you will facilitate this transfer from your short-term to your long-term memory storage. The more repetitions, the stronger the long-term memory storage.

Actively engage in what you learned.  By actually using what you have learned, applying what you have learned, or making practical use of the knowledge, you will more easily remember what you have learned. It will stick with you more easily, and you may have also learned a useful new skill. It definitely requires certain changes in the chemistry of your brain when you are able to, for example, write computer programs as opposed to just reading about a computer programming language.

Use all your senses.  Use as many of your senses as possible to associate what you have learned with that sense. Use your smell, use visual aids such as drawings or sketches, use the sense of touch, or your sense of hearing. Use all these senses, or as many as possible, to aid you to remember a certain fact. This is because these senses are connected to nerves, which also go to your brain. When you elicit these other senses, your brain also calls up concurrently whatever else you were trying to remember.

Give it time, and give it breaks.  Remember, your memory does not happen overnight. Learn something, give it a break, learn again, give it another break, and repeat. The breaks are essential to helping you remember. You must get away from what you are learning for a period of time. In a shorter time frame, such as an hour, you can learn for 5 minutes, break for 5 minutes, learn for 5 minutes, break for 5 minutes, etc. That would be a much more effect way to memorize than going continuously for one hour because it gives your brain a chance to relax. 

Concentrate.  To learn better and remember better, concentrate while you are learning that new fact. Concentrate with all your energies. Focus. You will remember much more by honing in on what you are learning than by letting your mind wander all over the place as you learn a new fact.

Use mnemonics or other types of memory aids or triggers.  Mnemonics are tools that help you remember more easily. For example, acronyms are often used to help remember the long form of a series of words. Other types of memory aids function similarly to help trigger your memory when that memory aid is induced. For example, if the last four digits of a phone number happened to be on a certain famous year in history, remembering the famous event that occurred on that year would trigger the digits of the phone number. Many other types of memory aids can be conjured and the limit is only as limited as your imagination. Making up a sentence, a poem, a song, or anything to associate one word or one fact with another fact works surprisingly well even though the two may seem worlds apart. Link them in some way possible, and you will much more easily remember the two facts with each other.

In summary, to improve your memory and remember more things,

A. Relax. 

B. Repeat.

C. Actively engage in what you learned.

D. Use all your senses.

E. Give it time, and give it breaks. 

F. Concentrate.

G. Use mnemonics or other types of memory aids or triggers.

Life Skills > Work Skills > How To Improve Your Memory


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Last Checked 2015