How to Increase Your Memory
We all know that as we grow older, our memory functions decrease. As part of the aging process, people become unable to remember figures, phone numbers, and people's names. Although aging is inevitable, scientists agree that you can increase your memory through different techniques. Many of these techniques are simple to implement. They require nothing more than a bit of focus and concentration. In this article, we will discuss how to increase your memory, a bit about the brain, common methods used, and techniques that work for everyone, regardless of age.
About the Brain
The brain, like the heart, is an electrochemical organ. Doctors and scientists can easily trace the patterns of brainwaves because of this effect. Although the functions of the brain are beyond the scope of this article, a brief explanation of brainwaves is in order. The brain functions on these levels:
- Alpha Waves - When you are relaxed, your brain is in alpha mode. Watching television is a good example of brain activity in alpha.
- Beta Waves - Beta waves are present when a person is in a state of arousal, such as deep in conversation, or actively engaged in mental activities.
- Theta Waves - Theta waves are active when a person day dreams or engages in a monotonous task, such as driving on the freeway for long periods of time.
- Delta Waves - Delta wave are present when someone is in deep dreamless sleep.
Each of these brain wave conditions evokes different responses in an individual. Understanding them helps you learn about increasing memory.
Scientists say you must have great interest in what you wish to remember. The brain will prioritize by meaning, relevance, and priority, meaning that the subject needs to be of interest for you to remember it. The content should add relevance to your life, and you must be able to understand what you are trying to remember.
Because the brain just isn’t designed for textbook memory, such as professional knowledge or academic ideas, it has a weak retrieval system. Finding ways to make information relevant is the challenge everyone faces. In order to learn and remember, we must pay strict attention to what we are studying, and have the proper attitude that we will get it right the very first time. Attitude is especially important, because if we approach the subject without prioritization and interest, the subject matter will be stored in short term memory, and later will be declassified by the brain as not important enough to remember.
Techniques From the Experts
Memory is almost always linked to association. If you see the word “apple,” you immediately associate it with something round, red with a white interior, and juicy. You don’t associate “apple” with “automobile.” It works the same with the alphabet. We learn it at a very early age, and if asked what the letter “E” ranks in the alphabet, we think “A, B, C, D, E.” E=5. It is an example of number association.
To utilize this tactic, visualize a large clock on the wall at bedtime. This imaginary clock displays the time you wish to get up. Focus on it for a minute, and then go to sleep. You wake within a minute or two of the correct time. There are other ways to do this picture game. If you have a flight at 2:00 pm, imagine a large airplane with a “2” painted on the side. Planes have 2 wings. See the association?
Sometimes, making associations is not easy. We all learned in school that “’I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C’, or when sounded like ‘A’ as in neighbor and weigh.” Sometimes it can be difficult to make a proper association. Experts say be creative, but be very silly. Here’s an example. My daughter in law’s name is Sara Lee. Every time I buy a loaf of Sara Lee bread, I am reminded of her. Not only does it make remembering fun, but it is good exercise for the brain to make up silly associations.
Numbers and Things
Experts say to break a long string of numbers into groups of 3. Look at your driver’s license or a credit card. These long numbers are broken into groups to aid memory. Remember that we do not visualize numbers, so setting up an association involving consonants is a helpful aid.
We do not have bad memories. What we have is stress, distraction, and the wrong tools to learn to aid our memories. Try these tricks today.