Strategies for Preserving Your Memory
The hopes for this post are for everyone who plans to live to a ripe old age and preserve your brainpower and memories.
You’ll learn how to master several techniques that will serve you throughout life in helping to generate the brain cells that can help your instant recall, remember volumes of information and even ward off the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The techniques you’ll learn are easy and fun and can open a whole new avenue of ways to assimilate and remember information – if you’re a student or anyone who wants to keep the memory intact for your lifetime.
Improve Your Memory Using Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic devices such as visualization, observation, and association have been used for centuries to help people have easy access to brain-stored information. In today’s world, it’s particularly important that we train our minds to remember the volumes of information which cross our paths each day.
If you’re easing into your elder years, you may be more concerned with keeping your mind active and to ward off debilitating diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Some types of mnemonic devices that you might be familiar with include:
- Rhymes – Rhymes such as “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred-ninety-two” has been used for years to help students remember this important date in history.
- Acrostics – This may be a new one for you. It’s a mnemonic method which enables you to use the first or last letter in words to remember things. For example, you might have a grocery list that contains the items, beef, potato, tomato, and wine-re Notice that the ending letter of each word spells “FOOD.”
- Loci – Ancient Greeks used this mnemonic method to memorize large volumes of information. You select a route that you’re most familiar with and place items you need to remember along the path. As you visually move down the route, you’ll see and remember the items you arranged.
Exercise Your Brain Using the Mindful Approach
Playing games such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and Trivial Pursuit keeps the brain active and reproducing nerve cells that form the nucleus of the brain.
When you challenge your brain you’re exercising it just as you would your body when you get a great workout at the gym. It’s important that you try new ways to use the mindful approach such as learning a new language or a new skill.
Trying new things ensures that the entire brain gets a workout, just as you would give your body a cardio and strength-building workout. Your cognitive and memory recall will increase as you challenge your brain to new heights.
Some other ways to use the mindful approach to build your brain power include:
- Use all your senses. Touch, smell, taste and your other senses are good ways to stimulate the brain in different areas.
- Practice acute observation. Take a picture in your mind of what you’re observing that you want to be able to recall.
- Use familiar items to jog your memory. If you have trouble remembering where you left your keys, place them on a hook near the door each time.
- Flashcards. A tried and true method of remembering and memorizing – flashcards should be separated by the ones you already know and those you need to practice.
- Using the mindful approach to preserve your memory and instant recall skills can be used anywhere and at any time. Training your brain by being mindful at all times will help your memory stay vital.
Trick Your Brain to Remember
Your brain loves mind tricks. You will too when you realize you can use some fun and fast tricks to remember numbers, faces and other things you need to have instant recall for. Students especially love it at test-taking time.
You’ll be much more successful remembering textbook information if you squeeze a ball when reading. It may not work in the classroom, but you can also remember more if you’re chewing gum while focusing.
Here are some brain tricks that really work:
- Mind Maps – Draw a map in your mind that could be similar to a genealogical-type family tree and make the trunk the focus of things you want to remember.
- Rosemary – Sniff a sprig of rosemary or rosemary oil to improve your memory.
- Speak Aloud – When you’re introduced to someone, say his or her name aloud to reinforce it in your mind.
- Keep it Varied – Try different things to keep your memory active. It works the same as using various exercises to improve all areas of your body.
Healthy Body – Healthy Brain: Your Lifestyle can Make a Difference
All the methods and tricks in the world can’t make a difference in your memory power if your lifestyle is in shambles. Obesity, drinking alcohol, lethargy and other bad habits and other bad lifestyle choices can wreak havoc on your brain and your future memory recall.
Some of the lifestyle choices can actually damage the brain and prevent the renewal of cells. Below are some things you can do to improve your lifestyle – and your brainpower:
- Organize – When things in your life (office, home, and personal life) are organized, your brain is better able to release the clutter of those memories and help you focus and remember.
- Sleep – Sleep is important to maintaining your overall health and helping your brain function properly. Try to get enough sleep each night – and grab a nap during the day.
- Diet – As important to your brain as it is to your body. What you eat impacts your brain by either supplying enough vitamins and nutrients – or not.
- Exercise – When you exercise your body, the brain’s nerve cells release an important protein of neurotrophic factors which can help to form helpful brain chemicals.
Take Steps Today to Preserve Your Memory for Tomorrow
While you may not be worried so much about your memory if you’re in your 20s, it’s never too early to begin the process of ensuring that your memory doesn’t fail as you enter middle- and then old-age.
Mnemonic associations, mindful thinking, memory tricks, and lifestyle changes can help you master the memory quest and keep the memory nerve cells in your brain growing and active.
Other factors that may affect your brain and your memory skills may have nothing to do with how you live your life and exercise your brain. If you’re suffering from medical conditions that require you to take prescription medications, they may be the type that interferes with your memory abilities.
You may also be at risk for memory loss if you have frequent infections or if you suffer from a thyroid condition. Menopause and depression also have an effect on your brain – and on your memory.
The last note on improving and preserving your memory is to laugh – often. Scientific studies show that when we laugh, the memory part of the brain lights up like firecrackers. Laughter is the best medicine to keep your brain cells stimulated and growing. It All Starts with You!
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