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Building memory muscles techniques

 

BUILDING MEMORY MUSCLES TECHNIQUES 

This article will cover 3 topics

1- Breaking the myth that you can’t develop your memory  

2- Is memorization a skill?

3- Building memory muscles techniques

 

Breaking The Myth That You Can’t Develop Your Memory 

The brains is involved in everything we do and, like any other part of the body, it needs to be cared for too.

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the brain, scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isn’t true. The human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change—even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, alter existing connections, and adapt and react in ever-changing ways.

The brain’s incredible ability to reshape itself holds true when it comes to learning and memory. You can harness the natural power of neuroplasticity to increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information, and improve your memory at any age. These seven tips can show you how.

Is memorization a skill?

As harsh as it sounds, we’ve collectively grown too lazy to remember things. And why should we improve our memory, when there’s another tiny brain in the palm of our hand to remember everything for us? Smartphones are getting smarter so we could free up our headspace for other matters.

There’s a universal favorite in brain-related sayings that goes: “Use it, or lose it”. The mind needs to be trained, just like your body.

So yes, memorization is a skill.

The less we try to actively memorize information, the lazier the brain gets. It becomes harder to pick up new skills and study. Not to mention that it sets the groundwork for faster neuron deterioration as we grow older. Even though our minds should be young and quick until old age, we’re facing a universal frustration of struggling to memorize a single phone number or a person’s name way before that.

Building memory muscles techniques

 Tip 1: Use all your senses

A 2015 research report suggests that using all your senses may help strengthen your brain.

To give your senses and your brain a workout, try doing activities that simultaneously engage all five of your senses.

Tip 2: Teach a new skill to someone else

After you learn a new skill, you need to practice it. Teaching it to someone else requires you to explain the concept and correct any mistakes you make. For example, learn to swing a golf club, then teach the steps to a friend.

Tip 3: Give your brain a workout

Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. But not all activities are equal. The best brain exercises break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways.

Four key elements of a good brain-boosting activity

  1. It teaches you something new The activity needs to be something that’s unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone.
  2. It’s challenging. It must be something that requires mental effort. For example, learning to play a challenging new piece of music counts; playing a difficult piece you’ve already memorized does not.
  3. It’s a skill you can build on. Look for activities that allow you to start at an easy level and work your way up as your skills improve
  4. It’s rewarding. Rewards support the brain’s learning process. The more interested and engaged you are in the activity, the more likely you’ll continue doing it and the greater the benefits you’ll experience.

Tip 4: Take practical steps to support learning and memory

Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, building new material on previous knowledge

Rehearse information you’ve already learned. This “spaced rehearsal” is more effective than cramming, especially for retaining what you’ve learned.

Use mnemonic devices to make memorization easier. Mnemonics are clues of any kind that help us remember something, usually by helping us associate the information we want to remember with a visual image, a sentence, or a word.

6 types of mnemonic device

  1. Visual image 
  2. Acrostic : Example: The sentence “Every good boy does fine” to memorize the lines of the treble clef, representing the notes E, G, B, D, and F.
  3. Acronym: Example: The word “HOMES” to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
  4. Rhymes and alliteration: Example: The rhyme “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November” to remember the months of the year with only 30 days in them.
  5. Chunking: Example: Remembering a 10-digit phone number by breaking it down into three sets of numbers: 555-867-5309 (as opposed to 5558675309).
  6. Method of loci:Example: For a shopping list, imagine bananas in the entryway to your home, a puddle of milk in the middle of the sofa, eggs going up the stairs, and bread on your bed.

Tip 5: Get your Zs

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by with and the amount you need to function at your best.

But sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.

Get on a regular sleep schedule and avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed.

Tip 6: Keep stress in check

Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus,

Tips for managing stress

  • Set realistic expectations (and be willing to say no!)
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up

Tip 7: Eat a brain-boosting diet

The following nutritional tips will help boost your brainpower and reduce your risk of dementia:

Get your omega-3s. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health.

If you’re not a fan of seafood, consider non-fish sources of omega-3s such as seaweed, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and flaxseed oil.

Drink green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can damage brain cells.

References:

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