13 practical strategies to improve memory
Boosting your ability to remember data and experiences is easy if you apply these habits.
In a previous Psychology and Mind we already explained that memory is a very complex process in which we do not only file memories and sensations mechanically as if we were a computer.
Human memory is closely linked to the emotions that produced the memories in their day, as proposed by psychologist Gordon H. Bower. But, in any case, for us to be able to remember many details of our past, we also need our brain to be at full capacity. we also need our brain to be in top shape.
Trained memory, effective memory
The memory is an intricate mental process by which we store thoughts, memories, skills and experiences.
If we are able to take care of our cognitive functions, we will be able to enhance our memory's capacity to retain data. This is especially interesting for people of a certain age, who suffer a slow but progressive deterioration of their cognitive abilities in general and their memory in particular.
Habits for memory training
To improve memory (in the case of young people) as well as to delay its deterioration (for the elderly), there are different habits and strategies that help us to develop our memory capacity, as well as to conserve and preserve it.and to conserve it and make it more efficient. To do this, it will be necessary to follow some simple training guidelines.
In the case of the elderly, there are many cases of memory loss symptoms (more or less evident to family members). These symptoms may be normal and in accordance with age, but in other cases they may be severe and require professional diagnosis. In these more severe cases, it will be necessary to get into the hands of a specialized physician in order to obtain an appropriate diagnosis and treatment (if necessary).
The dangers of not boosting memory
If we do not exercise our memory in our daily routine, we may begin to notice that we are less able to remember specific data and perform tasks in which we used to have sufficient skills. As in any other aspect, not exercising memory is the easiest way to gradually lose it.
But there is good news: if we exercise it a little every day, we will improve and enhance it.. Constant and sustained learning over time helps us to create certain habits and cognitive mechanisms that are positive for our memory. Memoristic ability can be developed if we are patient and perseverant.
Keeping your memory in good shape
Basic healthy habits to strengthen our memory
Healthy and balanced diet. Rich in vitamins and minerals and omega acids. Control cholesterol and saturated fats. Moderate consumption of processed meats and industrial pastries.
Practice sports. Among the many benefits of regular exercise is to keep our mind strong, and that improves our memory.
Stay away from sources of stress.. As far as you can, try to get away from sources of stress and anxiety. You can resort, if you have time, to practices such as yoga or Mindfulness if you notice that you are too nervous on a regular basis.
Get in touch with other people. Living in solitude makes our brains get comfortable and work less. On the other hand, if you have an active social life we will enhance the coming and going of ideas, conversations and emotions, and this helps our memory. In addition, the fact of being in contact with friends and acquaintances allows us to keep our brain busy in remembering data and listening and understanding our interlocutor. This is very beneficial for the memory.
Get out of the routine. Your daily activities (going to work, cooking...) are not enough to adequately enhance memory. As long as we have time, we should try new activities that attract us and develop some of our skills. The most recurrent: chess, practicing a new sport, going to get-togethers, reading books?
Routine memorizing strategies that can help you
Dispense (or almost) of your agenda. If you are a busy person and you need a personal agenda where to write down the appointments you have, it is understandable... but you should try to remember the appointments with your memory. Granted, it may seem a bit risky and it may be wise not to dispense with your diary altogether. But in the medium to long term, this habit will improve your memory skills. This advice also applies to shopping lists: it is preferable that you don't make them and that when you go shopping you do your shopping "by heart".
Travel as much as possible. If we leave home and explore corners of the planet that we did not know, it makes our brain discover new sensations and retain new data. This helps our memory to exercise a lot.
Organize get-togethers with friends. Any excuse is a good one: having a coffee, going out to the cinema, playing a board game... all opportunities to socialize positively influence your memory. As I mentioned before, remember that when you are with your friends you exercise your brain, telling anecdotes, discussing controversial topics or playing games and doing any activity together.
Be friends with books. Reading regularly is a great way to boost your memory (among many other benefits). Regardless of the type of reading you like the most, you should know that the challenge of reading a book helps your brain to stay awake and stimulates your memory enormously. It is also interesting to discuss the book with a friend or family member once you have finished reading it, since this will force your brain to recapitulate what you have learned.
Notice the little things. In your daily life, whether at home, at the office or walking around the city, you should know that there is a world of small details that are waiting to capture your attention. Observe and wonder about them, your memory will thank you.
Routinely exercise your memory. If you are one of those who write down everything, maybe you should change your strategy and try to remember things without help. People's names, telephone numbers, restaurants we want to go to...
Try to remember by your own means. If every time you have doubts about something you turn to Google, your memory will not be properly exercised and you will lose an opportunity for your brain to develop the ability to retrieve data or information.
Test yourself with new technologies. In the 21st century, we are constantly surrounded by technologies and gadgets. It is not uncommon that, on occasion, we feel that we do not remember how to install a program on the PC or how to search for a particular application on our smartphone. The easy thing to do may be to go to YouTube and look for a tutorial, but the best thing for our memory is to try to remember how we managed to do it the last time. With patience, it is likely that we will be able to tie things together.
The essential thing when it comes to exercising our memory is to be constant and to perform exercises and habits on a routine basis. In this way we will improve our short-term memory, which is the one that is most often impaired as we get older, and is the one that can be altered in cases of dementia. cases of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
If you exercise your memory with these simple strategies, you will notice that you can remember much better..
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)