Are you frustrated with memory issues? Have you tried the endless memory methods, just to hit a dead end? Then no worries. You are at the right place. In this article, we cover the most powerful and scientifically proven memory method to help you improve your memory.
Memory plays an important role in our life. In many ways, our memory shapes who we are. They are a huge part of our internal biographies, our stories, and what we have done with our life.
Our memories tell us who we are connected with. In short, our memories are what make us human beings.
So, if anyone is granted a wish about the thing they would like to improve, it would be their memory.
It is true for both students and professionals. Both of them struggle with memory issues regularly. After all, you are expected to remember numerous things that happened in your lifetime.
For example, your childhood. But, not everyone can remember everything they go through in their lifetime.
And there might be a reason why humans forget things.
According to the study, our brain uses various mechanisms to store memory. The brain uses the energy, which results in undoing and overriding the previous information. This causes us to forget the specific information or the memory.
It would mean that forgetting things is a completely normal and natural process. Forgetting does not mean your memory is failing you.
Our brain remembers the memory it finds most useful and discards the rest of it. To understand this, let’s take an example.
You have memorized your friend’s number. But that friend moves to another city and changes their number. Now, remembering the old number becomes useless.
Hence, your brain might take that as a signal and make learning your friend’s new number difficult. This happens because the brain associates friends’ numbers with unimportant.
That’s not to say that forgetting everything is good. But remembering everything is not good, too. Some things such as traumatic experiences are better forgotten.
Our memory strength is like muscular strength. The more you exercise, the stronger you get.
But, if you keep lifting the same weight every day, you won’t get any stronger than you were yesterday. You need to keep challenging your muscles by increasing the weight.
The same is the case with our memory. You need to challenge yourself to learn new things constantly.
Here is the good news.
There are many evidence-based strategies to help improve memory.
While it may take some time and effort, these strategies are worth following to retain the information better.
So let’s start learning.
The Top 5 Methods for Improving Your Memory
1. Method of ‘Loci’
The method of ‘loci’, also known as the memory palace, is one of the most popular memory techniques used by memory wizards to memorize random information.
Neuroscience research shows that a memory palace is a helpful tool in memorizing information. Moreover, it is much more effective than other learning methods.
In the method of loci, you take the list of things or codes you want to memorize. Then you associate them with the physical place, aka the memory palace.
Here’s a short example of the memory palace.
First, let’s choose a familiar place that you know very well. For example, your home.
Suppose you want to memorize your shopping list. You place the objects from your shopping list in a physical location in your mind. For example, you want to memorize bread from your list.
Then, you may visualize burning bread in the toaster in your kitchen.
The beauty of this technique is, the weirder the story, the better you will remember it. You can read about Memory Palace in detail on our blog here.
Mindfulness refers to focusing on the present and being aware of the surroundings.
Generally, people associate mindfulness with emotional and mental well-being.
However, according to a study, mindfulness is also helpful in improving your memory. The reason behind it is very simple.
Have you ever noticed that when you don’t pay attention, your memory worsens a bit?
This happens because you are not focusing on the situation long enough for your brain to capture it in working memory. Thus, the information is quickly lost.
Another reason is, if you are not paying attention, your brain takes that as a signal that the event is unimportant. Hence, the memory never gets stored in long-term memory.
This memory technique can help you overcome this issue by forcing you to pay attention to your work and your surroundings.
Also, it is a helpful tool to bring you back to the present whenever your mind wanders.
Though, practicing and mastering mindfulness can take a long time. In the end, it is worth it.
3. Spaced Repetition
Studying can sometimes become monotonous and can take a large amount of time. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. You can only learn so much in so little time.
To combat this, you need a technique that will help you spend less time studying while retaining more information.
But how is that possible? The solution: Spacing or spaced repetition.
Spaced repetition leverages a memory process called the ‘Spacing effect’. This effect states that you learn better when you space out your learning over time.
So how do you put spaced repetition into practice?
Benedict Carey, in his book How we learn, came up with a timeline to practice spaced repetition.
|Time to Test||First Study Gap|
|1 week||1-2 days|
|1 month||1 week|
|3 months||2 weeks|
|6 months||3 weeks|
|1 year||1 month|
Suppose your test is in one week. Then you must do your first session today, then the second session tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.
Please note that these gaps are approximate. You may adjust them according to your capacity.
You can practice spaced repetition in two ways: Flashcards or spaced repetition apps.
We recommend checking out Anki, which is a highly customizable app available on all platforms. Best of all, it has a huge community and is free.
4. Use acronyms or mnemonics
Acronyms and mnemonics are powerful memory techniques for students.
An acronym is the first letter of any word. For example, you can use PEMDAS to remember the order of operation in mathematics.
On the other hand, a mnemonic is a device that helps remember the rule or principle. For example, ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.
This mnemonic helps students remind themselves that ’i’ should always come before ‘e’ in. For example, relief, belief, pie, etc.
The exception is receiving, ceiling, etc.
Here’s another example. To help students remember the names of nine planets in order.
You can use: My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.
Here’s another example. Suppose you want to remember the value of ‘pi’ which is 3.1416
So, you can use: ‘May I have a pillow? ‘
Here’s how it works: May has 3 letters, I has one, have has 4, a has 1, the pillow has 6 letters.
Wasn’t that fun? Let’s move further.
5. Last but not least. Sleep better
You may have a habit of studying till late at night, or not sleeping at all before your exams or important meetings. But this habit might be dangerous.
Believe it or not, sleep is an integral part of our memory process. While in deep sleep, your brain reorganizes your memories. Due to this, important information is pushed into long-term memory, while unimportant information or data are discarded.
Hence, to ensure your memory’s proper functioning and to not forget what you learned in the day, you need to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every day.
Also, it might help if you take an hour-long nap after a study session. This will help you reorganize your memory after learning new information. So go ahead, take a nap.
We have specifically chosen the above memory method because they show the best results. Remember, your brain has an incredible capacity to adapt to changes. Use this to your advantage.
Take one or two techniques from the above article and start using them. With some practice, you will be able to use them in daily life. They will help you improve your memory.
Your child does not need to be born with a good memory. Remember, even Dave Farrow, Guinness World Record holder was not born with a great memory. Memory training offers proven techniques to retain more information and improve their memory.
As a parent, only you can help your child foster their cognitive development. And what can be better than signing up for a free memory training email course that provides you free tips to improve memory?
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How can I improve my memory and concentration?
You can improve your memory and concentration by various memory techniques such as mindfulness, memory palace, getting better sleep, spaced repetition, brain games, etc.
What causes poor concentration and memory?
There are various reasons behind poor concentration and memory. Some of them include genetic factors, diseases like ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, etc. Other reasons include multitasking, not getting enough sleep, bad eating habits, etc.
What are 3 memory strategies?
The top three memory strategies include the Method of ‘loci’, Spaced Repetition, and Visualization.
Can memory be improved?
Yes. The brain has an incredible ability to adapt to changes. This ability is called Neuroplasticity. With some memory training, you can create new neural connections which are helpful in memory preservation.