7 Steps To A Better Memory

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on February 14, 2012

Most of us have had problems some time or the other with remembering where we kept certain objects or remembering bits of information. However, some individuals may have memory problems more frequently. When we speak of poor memory, what we really mean is poor recollection. Recollection can only happen if the information remains in the memory.


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This can occur only when we put the information into memory. Using better memory techniques helps us to record information into memory with more emphasis.

Even when we put information properly into our memory, we are not always able to recall it due to stress and retention problems.

By practicing some better memory techniques, you will be able to improve assimilation and develop a longer retention capacity. For better memorization, techniques like chunking can be effective. In this technique, the information to be put into memory is divided into groups that are small and can be easily memorized. This technique is most effective when the order of items is unimportant. This technique works well for memorizing multi-digit numbers like telephone numbers and ID numbers and for putting difficult spellings to memory.

For better memory improvement, the techniques of rhyming can be used. This method takes advantage of our natural ability to recall rhythms and rhymes. By creating rhymes, you will not only improve your memory but improve creativity as well. Mediation or bridging can also be used as a better memory technique. In this technique, a bridge or link is formed between the information to be memorized. This method is most effective to learn material that involves pairs of words or information that can be made into word pairs. A very good example is in learning the capital of Poland. Warsaw is the capital of Poland. As the attack on Poland by Germany started the World War II, you can arrange it as 'Poland SAW war first'. In this instance, the words to be connected are Warsaw and Poland. The information of World War II is used as a mediator or bridge to join these two words. Like other better memory techniques, this method requires the active participation of the learner in the process. This is because one has to make a connection or bring a mediator from the things learnt from experience.

Another technique to use for better memory is mnemonics. Mnemonics is a useful technique to recall information that is usually difficult to remember. The principle behind mnemonics is to encode information that is difficult to remember in a certain manner so that it becomes easy to remember. Our brains have evolved to interpret and code stimuli that is complex like language, emotions, positions, touch, tastes, smells, sounds, structures, colors and images. You can also do certain things to better your mnemonics. You could use pleasant and positive images as the brain usually blocks out images that are unpleasant. You could also incorporate all your senses to code the information of the image and exaggerate the size of the parts that are important. To recall faster from memory, techniques like these can be very effective and you can enhance them by getting regular exercise, maintaining good sleep habits, and avoiding smoking.

A better memory may sound unbelievable to some. But, believe it or not, it is really possible; and simple. You can protect and improve your memory the simple way; with easy lifestyle changes. To find out what habits really help improve memory, our researchers set up a survey to test 10,500 people's long-term memory (what happened 2, 6, and 25 years ago), working memory (what's on a mailing list), and the ability to remember others people's faces, names, and jobs. Our researchers then quizzed everyone about their lifestyles. Looking for a mind like a steel trap?

Here are 7 steps to a better memory we found most likely to help you:

  1. Breathe properly: Pranayamas are breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis. The mind and breath, it has been proven are interconnected. Notice, when you're agitated you start to palpitate. Conversely, slow breathing helps calm the mind. Pranayama essentially involves regulating the breath, controlling the vital force and channelizing the vital force in the right directions. The most beneficial for a better memory are known to be Kapalabhatti and Anuloma-Viloma.
  2. Practise yogasanas: The regular practice of yogasanas has proven to be of immense health and therapeutic value. In addition to their various physiological benefits, research down the decades has proven that they positively affect our minds, as well. Why, our life force energies as well as our creative intelligence can be molded and augmented by their regular practice. Sarvangasana and Sirshasana are known to be the most beneficial for an enhanced memory.
  3. Maintain a healthy diet: Many diseases are directly or indirectly linked with wrong food habits. Lowered memory is one of them. A change in diet stimulates the whole system, thereby enhancing its functioning. For this reason Yoga emphasizes a vegetarian diet or foods full of the life-force. A mention about diet in the present context is very important because it is intimately connected with other yogic practices like breathing, relaxation and meditation. The intake of low fat vegetarian diet makes the yogic practices of meditation and shavasana easier for the participants. Diet and yogic exercises complement each other.
  4. Learn to relax: The very word - relaxation - brings images of some kind of discipline like yoga or something similar to be done at a particular time of the day. On the contrary, relaxation simply means deliberately, consciously releasing the tension that has somehow crept into the mind and body. For this Yoga essentially prescribes two techniques, Dirga Pranayama and Shavasana. The more relaxed you are, watch your memory also improve over a period of time. Actually, it's all about ridding yourself of all that junk that clutters up the mind space, interfering with good memory.
  5. Meditate a little: Meditation is a technique used to stabilize the mind, increase concentration and will power, balance cellular energy and develop one-pointedness. Meditation systematically deals with all levels of ones being, including ones relationship with the world and with oneself. It deals with the senses, body, breath and all the levels of mind. Meditation gently moves inward through each of these aspects of ones being, leading to a deep stillness and silence, from which the deeper experiences might be found, naturally, resulting in a calmer mind and enhanced powers of memory.
  6. Have less tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee: For millennia, people have been using substances to lift their spirits. Ever since, humans have also come to discover that alcohol reduces inhibitions, impairs judgment, affects sexual performance and leads to hangovers and loss of memory over time. Likewise, caffeine a key ingredient of coffee, tea and chocolate is the world's most popular stimulant. It is used by billions of people to boost alertness. However, it is proven that alcohol, nicotine and caffeine increase blood pressure and stimulates the heart, lungs and other organs. It also causes panic attacks, can play havoc with sleep cycles and, over a protracted period of time with the memory as well.
  7. Watch less TV: If you think you've got a bad memory, then you're probably right. And if you'd like to improve your memory, we discovered some of the habits of good rememberers! For starters, turn off the box, or at least don't watch too much of it. People who watch less than an hour of TV a day did better in all memory tests!

Practice these 7 steps and, in course of time, you are bound to have a better memory.

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