5 Ways To Boost Your Memory
Have you ever imagined the benefits a good memory can bring you?
Being able to remember important pieces of information - like names, facts and figures, directions, procedures, quotations - can give you a powerful advantage in life.
In fact, the ability to retain and retrieve information is essential to your personal and professional success.
Here are five ways to boost your memory and keep it razor sharp:
1. Use Your Imagination
An easy way to remember something is to "take a picture".
For example, to remember where you've left your car keys, pretend to hold a camera to your eyes, focus on the scene, and click the image into your memory when you are leaving.
Then, when you want to find your keys again, try to develop the negative into positive and you'll be able to draw out a clear picture.
This technique works with almost everything you want to remember, as the film reel in your mind is endless.
Another trick you can use is to "think like a poet". Make up rhymes to recall ideas and construct simple-to-remember acronyms to record key phrases.
Remembering is EASY (Every Acronym Saves You) when you DIY (Do It Yourself).
Let's say you want to memorize the planets in their order from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Then just say "My Very Excellent Mom Just Served Us Nice Pickles".
You can boost your memory with just a little regular practice. There are lots of ways of doing this:
Try to remember which day of the week your last birthday was. Then extend this to the birthdays of all your family members.
Try to remember all the Grand Slam Finalists and who was the winner. If you can try to remember the scores as well, it would be an even better exercise.
Try to remember names of all the 50 States and see if you can do it in alphabetic order too.
It won't be long before your daily practice pays off - making your mind sharper and more adaptable.
3. Eat Healthy
The best way to protect your memory is to eat plenty of antioxidants and nutrients commonly found in fruits and vegetables.
In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers tested people aged between 65 and 90 and discovered that the people with the best ability to memorize words were those whose diets included the most fruits and vegetables.
Coincidentally, the same group of people ate the least artery-clogging saturated fat. Of all the fruits and vegetables studied, blueberries and blackberries contain the most potent antioxidants, anthocyanins.
4. Get Physical
Physical exercise not only boosts memory but also helps you think faster. A combination of mental and physical activities can protect your memory and help keep you alert.
The brain's processing speed gradually slows as you age. Between ages 25 and 55, many people begin to experience problems coming up with names or numbers. The memory is there. It just takes people longer to retrieve it.
Staying physically fit can ward off some of the effects of age on the brain. In real life, that could mean coming up with a forgotten name more quickly or jumping out of danger in the face of an oncoming car.
5. Exercise Your Brain
Mental gymnastics are as important as physical ones to preserving brainpower.
Take up word games like crossword puzzles and acrostics. Memorize favorite poems, read challenging books or articles that encourage you to expand your interests.
Practice other-handedness. If you're right- handed, try brushing your teeth or writing your grocery list with your left hand.
Any activity that requires you to think and concentrate -- from keeping a journal or learning a new language to taking music lessons -- will challenge your brain.
And your brain will thrive on the challenge.
Article © 2003 Murdo Macleod.
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