How to Improve Memory: 5 Memorable Tips

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How to Improve Memory: 5 Memorable Tips

Article by James Malone

Do you frequently walk into a room and forget why you were going there? Some of us have problems with remembering names and faces. The ability to do well on tests or promotional exams often hinges on the ability to retain and then recall information. Despite its importance, how to improve memory is a topic that is often overlooked in our education.

Memory can be broken down into three basic components: imprint, retention and recall. Imprint is when we encounter a new piece of information that we would like to store in the memory banks. Retention is the degree to which this information creates a memorable and lasting impression or not. Finally, recall is the ability to retrieve the retained information at will. Any of these three phases can be the culprit in a memory lapse.

Here are some tips that can help you improve memory.

Pay Attention. Sometimes people blame their recall abilities when a given fact escapes them when really the error occurred during the imprint phase. If you are not paying attention, chances are you will not remember. Part of the problem is the we are continually bombarded by trivial messages courtesy of the mass media. Attention follows interest, if something is important to remember, remind yourself of that at that time.

Make Associations. Neurologists tell us that the individual brain cells actually make physical connections with other brain cells in response to new associations. The more associations you make with a piece of information, the more likely it will be retained. Just met someone named Richard and you want to be sure you remember his name? It would be pretty hard to forget if you created a mental image of Richard Nixon putting his arm around this new acquaintance while he said, “I am not a crook, and my friend Richard here isn’t here either!” The more colorful and comical an association is, the more easily it will be retained.

Get Enough Rest. Sleep deprivation and fatigue are proven to dampen all phases of memory. Elite military units intentionally create conditions of mental and physical exhaustion during the training and selection of new recruits to see if they can function properly under those circumstances, many cannot and are dropped from the program. Memory problems are one of the early warning signs that stress has gotten out of hand. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, rest and recreation.

Stay Hydrated and Oxygenated. All of the organs of the body require copious amounts of water and oxygen to function at their best, especially the brain. Many of the health problems encountered the elderly are due to dehydration, including memory lapse. The brain uses a lion’s share of the oxygen brought into the body. Make sure your living and work spaces are well-ventilated. Deep breathing exercises as taught in yoga can also improve memory and mind power.

Watch Out for Negative Beliefs. A person gets to a certain age and it is almost inevitable he will begin to complain about the memory starting to get foggy. This is not to say that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not real maladies. However, the power of self-suggestion can impair memory in an otherwise healthy person.

A popular routine amongst stage hypnotists is to suggest to a receptive volunteer, “in a moment the number between 6 and 8 will disappear, you will try very hard to remember it, but it will remain a blank until I snap my fingers.” Lo and behold the number does seem disappear for awhile, where the otherwise intelligent person cannot answer “what is four plus three?” The volunteer still has a perfectly fine brain, the power of belief just created a temporary and amusing memory lapse. Use positive affirmations like “my memory and mind-power grow stronger each and every day” to combat negative thoughts and beliefs.

About the Author

James Malone is a Certified Hypnotist from Point Pleasant, NJ and the publisher of the insanely popular Creative Calm online newsletter. Do you remember why you read this article? Hint: its because you want to improve your memory! Will you remember to visit the Improve Memory Resource Page later on or should you just visit there now to learn even more?

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