Ways to Boost Your Memory
Have you ever tried very hard to memorize formulas, definitions or concepts like this?
Physics Newton first law: “Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion (constant velocity) unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force.”
Chemistry Thermodynamics law: “The change in the energy of a system equals the heat flow in the system from the surroundings minus the work done by the system on the surroundings.”
Differentiation Formula: dy/dx (xn) = n x n- 1
Some of you may feel that it is easy, while some of you may find it rather quite alright to memorize, but what if you were given hundreds or thousands of formulas and concepts to master? How much of those can you remember? How long do you take to remember all of that?
Before we go on further, let me ask you a question:
How do you know whether you are using an effective memory strategy or technique?
The fact is not many students or even teachers are quantifying the effectiveness of their memory techniques. They simply just try to remember things the hard way by either re-reading again and again. Or they just try to test themselves by covering the book and trying to rewrite again.
But the question is “is it effective?”
Here’s the thing, to be able to find out the effectiveness of your memory techniques or strategies, you need to test it. And to do so, we need to apply the strategies of highly successful techniques which Fortune 500 companies are using in their businesses.
First, to be able to find out how powerful is your memory techniques, simply test yourself in 2 minutes time, how much stuff can you remember?
Take a list of around 30 words, and start your timer for 2 minutes, and see how many words can you remember correctly at the end of the 2 minutes. Now, take out your stop watch and start timing. Don’t get distracted…
How many words can you remember correctly at the end of 2 minutes? Now, if you have take part in this test, kindly vote for your results below so that other readers could gauge it too.
Using the right memory strategies and techniques, you could easily remember all 30 of them. Even in the exact order!
You can calculate the effectiveness and skill level of your memory techniques or skills from this test by taking the number of words you can remember correctly as a gauge.
Let’s just take X = number of words you can remember..
Then X/30 x 100 = the % effectiveness of your memory techniques and strategies.
For example, if you can remember 15 words out of the 30 words at the end of the test, your memory strategies are around 50% effective.
Do note that not to take this as an actual test and beat down on yourself. This is just a gauge to test the effectiveness of your memory skills.
To boost your memory effectively, you need to
- Understand and know which are the effective memory techniques and strategies
- Practice these memory techniques and strategies
- Test and improve your memory techniques and strategies
And guess what?
Most of the memory techniques and strategies that are taught in school are extremely INEFFECTIVE. For example, most “experts” would teach about using Acronymic sentences to remember information.
We are going to show you how ineffective this is… Let’s take the above six words for example:
For this strategy, you would need to underline the first letter of the piece of information you need to remember. Then you need to make a sentence using words with these underlined letters.
“Cat (Crayfish) rushing (Rattling) poor (Pandora) mum (Market) for (Forest) shrimps (Scorpio)
But the problem with this strategy is that most students find it difficult to remember the words that are linked to the first letter of the information they need to remember. They also find it difficult to come out with the right words to join the entire sentences together.
If you are going to use this strategy with the 30 words above, it may even take you more than 10 minutes of your time.
What are the most effective memory techniques and strategies?
Some of the best memory experts and gurus taught these advanced memory techniques and strategies as much as thousands of dollars. And the most amazing thing about their strategies is that you are able to memorize information to the finest detail – Imagine your friend asking you about “what’s on page 54 of our Chemistry textbook”, and you are able to answer it! How cool is that?
One of the key principles of a powerful memory is Linkages. When you remember something, our mind forms a series of linkages or nerve connections, and this is also called ‘memory trace’ or ‘engrams’. When you forget something, it is usually because linkages of the particular information is not strong enough.
And the trick behind a powerful memory is by knowing how to form powerful linkages – through the use of our creativity and imagination.
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Some general memory booster techniques…
It is important for any student to have great memory to retain as much information as possible, making recitations and exams a lot easier handled. If you want to improve your brain’s efficiency in storing and recalling details, try doing the following tips in boosting the memory:
Meditate to Refresh the Mind
Meditation is not only good for stress reduction, but also for sharpening the memory. The effects of meditation to the brain are somewhat similar to the effects of sleep. Sensory input is significantly reduced while meditating, enabling the brain cells to relax and have sufficient time to recover from daily stressors. Brain scans reveal that meditation produces a state comparable to what experts believe is a form of invigorating sleep phase, called the non-REM phase. So before studying, take time out to meditate for 30-45 minutes, and you might just find your brain very well refreshed afterward, and your lessons easier to memorize.
Some Apples a Day Keep Forgetfulness Away
A study on Alzheimer’s disease revealed that laboratory mice suffering from age-related memory loss achieved memory improvement when fed daily with apple juice. Eventually, such mice performed better at the maze, compared with others having the same memory loss problems, but were not provided with apple juice.
The reason behind this is the right amount of antioxidants present in apples, which raises the level of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter playing a vital role in keeping the memory in tip-top shape. To keep poor memory away, experts suggest munching at least a couple of apples a day.
Cardio Also Keeps Your Brain in Shape
Doing 30-60 minutes of cardio exercises at least 3 times per week is not only good at shedding off those excess pounds, but also keeps your memory active. It makes perfect sense: cardio exercises make your heart and lungs work faster. And the harder these organs work, the more fresh oxygen is supplied to your brain.
In addition, a recent study have shown that brain scans of people who frequently do cardio exercises actually have bigger brain volume compared to those who did any other forms of exercises, such as stretching or weight lifting. It is said that the additional volume is due to the increase in the white matter of the brain, which contributes to memory processing and concentration.
Video Games Fight Off Poor Memory
Surprising but experts believe that having a regular dose of video games also helps in enhancing the memory. However, it’s best to play games that test the brain power, such as those that make you formulate strategies and crack some mystery.
Also, once you get the hang of a particular video game, it is advisable to start playing a different one, in order to maintain the memory and concentration enhancing effects of it. The brain is just like a muscle: once the muscle becomes so used to the weight of the dumbbell being lifted, it stops growing as it finds the task no longer challenging. But always do remember that too much of something is bad. Exercise your brain via video games during weekends, and put away those controllers during school days.