Imagine yourself giving an important presentation and suddenly your brain goes blank.
Or while preparing for your competitive exams, you forget what you studied the previous day or last week.
Sounds familiar? Right?
The good news is you are not alone. Many people experience these memory gaps.
But you don’t want to be a victim to memory gaps. Right?
Fortunately, you can enhance your skill to remember more information by using some of the best memory techniques mentioned in this blog.
In this blog, we’ve covered some tried and tested memory techniques, lifestyle modifications, and effective tips that will help you improve your memory and retain information.
Best Memory Techniques for Improving Your Memory
Did you know? Paul Reber - a Northwestern University Psychology professor discovered that our brains can store up to 2.5 petabytes of data, almost three million hours of TV shows.
Undoubtedly, this is a huge amount. But, in our daily routine we can’t even remember what we did three hours back.
But don’t worry, you can enjoy the benefits of having a powerful memory with some simple techniques to improve memory. Here they go:
1. Method of Loci
Loci (not the brother of Thor) is a Latin word used for places. This method says that to remember things better, try associating them with the places that are already in your memory.
Using this method, you can go on an imaginary journey where you learn a piece of information by associating it with any item.
For example, you can create a mental journey of your home’s route like bedroom, living room, etc.
Then have a list of items that you want to remember and associate them with each locus. For example, corn, bed, milk, carrots, milk.
You will be surprised how you can recall all the items by retracing the route.
2. Expression Mnemonics
Do you remember the science class where you learn the colors of the rainbow by the acronym, VIBGYOR? i.e. V- Violet, I- Indigo, B- Blue, G- Green, Y- Yellow, and R-Red.
So, the teacher took the first letter of all the colors and made one name. This is exactly what ‘Expression Mnemonics’ is!
It is a kind of memory training that allows memorization of the associated idea with a single word or ACRONYM.
3. Chaining Technique
As the name suggests, this memory technique helps you to remember lists, numbers, or anything else you need.
Even if your items are not related to each other, you can form a link and have a story in your mind.
Here’s how you can use this memory technique to remember things:
Link the first item with the second one and second one with the third one, and so on.
You can end the story by linking your first item to the last item. Now, the story will stick to your mind and you are good to go!
4. Mind Maps
It is a collection of ideas that are presented in the format of a visual diagram.
It is one of those memory techniques where you just look at the map, and you remember all the details you need to know. One proper glance and you are good to go.
Mind Maps are amazing for writing business strategies, generating new ideas, remembering plots of stories, etc.
Steve Jobs once suggested, “Creativity is just connecting things.”
Chunking means grouping the items so that you can remember them easily. It is very beneficial to memorize phone numbers, social security IDs, and bank account numbers as well. All the things are put here in a pattern.
It can help you to group your grocery list. You might do it alphabetically while others according to the type of food. You need to find out which patterns suit you most naturally and stick with them.
Do you know 90% of the information that our brain processes are visual?
Not only this, but we also process visual information 60,000 times faster than words.
Just take a fact and convert it into an image. The more ridiculous and exaggerated the image will be, the easier it will be for you to remember it.
For instance, if you want to remember that Neil Armstrong was the first person to land on the moon, you can imagine a boy with a nail in his muscular arm (to remind you of the name, Armstrong) on the moon.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Quick Lifestyle Hacks for Improving Memory
We all have our moments of forgetfulness. Sometimes we found it funny, other times, they are frustrating. But there are some quick lifestyle techniques for improving our memory:
1. Adequate sleep & nap time:
Sleep plays a crucial role in consolidation. It is a process in which your short-term memories are strengthened. This further transferred into long-lasting memories.
According to a study, nurses doing night shifts made more mathematical errors.
Not only this, a whopping 68% of them scored lower in memory tests than the nurses working the day shift.
2. Change your food habits
Ludwig Feuerbach has rightly remarked, “We are what we eat”. Hence, eating good becomes our responsibility.
Some of the healthy habits include cutting down our sugar intake and trying to have a fish oil supplement as it is rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids.
There was a study conducted with 36 adults, having cognitive impairment. And, their working memory score improved a lot as they took fish oil supplements for 12 months.
Inculcating healthy food habits won’t only make you look beautiful but also ensures good memory – a complete package!!
A win-win situation. Isn’t it?
3. Cultivate Memory Boosting Hobbies
Brain training can do wonders to boost and improve your memory. It is a fun and engaging way to retain your memory.
Crosswords, Tetris, and word-recall games are some excellent memory-boosting hobbies.
Discover The Best Brain Training Games to Play as an Adult
As you age, your cognitive abilities tend to decline. It also has a drastic impact on your memory.
Thankfully, meditation helps you relax your brain. Regular meditation reduces your stress levels, blood pressure and improves memory.
Meditation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory, from people in their 20s to the elderly.
One study demonstrated how Taiwanese college students have a significantly better spatial working memory than those who don’t meditate.
Tips for Retaining Common Information
Memorization is becoming a lost art in the modern times – thanks to the Internet.
But if not everything, at least retaining common information can save us from embarrassing situations.
Here are some go-to tips to retain common information in your life:
Calling people by the wrong name or forgetting their names can be very damaging to your personal and business relationships.
“When you can remember someone’s name, it shows them that they are important to you,” says Chester Santos, the “The International Man of Memory”, U.S. memory champion, and an award-winning international speaker.
Here’s a quick hack to help you remember names:
Start by identifying your motivation as to why that person is important to you.
Repeat their name just after you meet and look for a distinguishing feature on his face. This will trigger your brain everytime you see the person.
2. Phone Numbers
In today’s era, we are inundated with new numbers every day.
Though everything is stored in our phones, still learning some important numbers won’t do any harm either.
You should try creating associations of numbers with some of your important dates like marriage anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
Break big numbers into small parts. Try looking for patterns, learn them actively, and repeat them.
The easiest way to remember addresses is by creating an association.
The more vivid the association is, the easier it will be for you to remember the addresses.
For instance, “Mahogany St.” in your mind is “a shady street lined with trees”.
4. Formulas & Spellings
You can start with basic words such as Wednesday.
The pronunciation of the same is ‘Wensday’.
But instead of pronouncing it correctly, you can pronounce it as Wed-nez-day.
It will help you to remember how it should be spelled.
While some of these are memory techniques, others are about making some crucial lifestyle changes.
Needless to say, the latter will complement the former.
All these tips and tricks need time and patience. But, I know you don’t have that much time. Our generation wants everything quickly.
Being a 2x Guinness Record Holder for Greatest Memory, I will amaze you with memory skills that produce real performance results in a short period.
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1. How do I use memory techniques in life?
There are many ways to incorporate memorization techniques in both your personal and professional lives. These techniques include Loci, mnemonics, visualization, linking, mind maps, chunking, and writing things down.
2. What is the most effective memory technique to remember a speech?
Chunking is undoubtedly the most effective memory technique to remember a speech. Start with big chunks and move to the small points.
3. How to learn memory techniques?
Try to understand the information first, link it, self-test it, use mnemonics, and practice.
4. What are the best memory techniques?
Chunking, mnemonics, and linking are some of the best memory techniques. The more you practice them, the better you will become at them.