Have you ever wondered why some people have better memory than others? You may know someone who can name all the people he or she has met. You may also know a teacher or a student who could remember the names and faces of the class in just a short time. On the other hand, you may know persons who keep on asking your name, even though you have already told them a thousand times. Likewise, you may know people who always seem to misplace their belongings, even though they have just used it.
Having a good memory is not just a product of being intelligent or gifted. There are many people who are not necessarily bright but are smart; able to remember and memorize something they have seen or heard. How were they able to do that?
While it is true that gifted individuals have the tendency to have better memory and have better mental performance, there are also some intervening factors. These factors, when suitably and promptly considered, could enable you to improve your memory and enhance your mental performance.
When trying to improve your memory and your mental performance, you must consider first how it works. According to psychologist, the memory process involves three stages: 1) encoding, 2) storage, and 3) retrieval. When the human senses receive information, it will be registered by the brain and broken down or "encoded." Then the brain stores this information, which can be retrieved in the near future. If any of these stages collapse, it would result to a memory failure, or in simpler terms "forgetfulness." If the brain fails to encode the information, you would forget it. If the brain fails to store the information, you would forget it. If your brain fails to retrieve the information, you would forget it. This means that if you want to improve your memory and boost your mental performance, you must make sure that these three stages are done successfully.
Thankfully though, there are many ways by which you could boost your memory and your mental function. Here are some proven tips through which you can level up your memory and enhance your mental performance.
- Pay attention. One of the main reasons your memory fails because didn't pay enough attention. If your mind wanders around and does not focus on the matter, then it is high likely that there would be a failure in encoding the resulting information in your brain. To help you pay attention, take some interest into the matter and if possible take some notes.
- Always attempt to understand. Just plain memorization won't help you boost your memory. You need to understand what you have read, heard or seen to better get hold of the information being conveyed. For instance, if you understand how a certain recipe is prepared, you would better remember the needed ingredients when you go to the grocery to buy them.
- Try to organize. Keeping information organized will allow you to remember them better. For instance, when trying to remember mobile numbers, it might be better to divide the figures into two or three parts. When trying to remember 1324576809, it would be better if your group them into 1324, 576 and 809. The same thing could be done for a shopping list or for your complicated passcodes.
- Visualize the object that you want to remember. Try to boost your memory by making a mental picture of the objects you want to retrieve from your brain library. For instance, when trying to remember the details of a short story you have read, it would be best to picture out the scenes in it, particularly those that could be considered as critical or important. Visualization allows you to use more parts of your brain, enabling you better encode, store and retrieve information.
- Sleep well. Sleeping allows your body to rest. However, that does not end with that. During sleep, the brain goes into a different functional state. During sleep, the brain consolidates memories and performs other vital functions. Likewise, when you sleep, the brain cleans away toxic proteins accumulated while you were awake. This process, keeps your brain intact and ready to work for another day.
- Stay healthy. Certain unhealthy habits could lead to the destruction of brain cells, thus decreasing your mental performance and ruining your memory. Smoking and drinking do not improve your mental functions. Smoking reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain, making it function less efficiently and less effectively. On the other hand, alcohol could make you deficient of thiamine, which is essential to proper functioning of memory.
To improve your memory and your mental performance, you could also try using mnemonics, which are strategies or approaches that could help you better encode, store and retrieve information. Others helpful mnemonics include association, visualization, and usage of acronyms or acrostics.
Manuela Theissen is a mother of three who has genuine passion for writing and reading. She believes that having an excellent memory, great analytical ability and good essay writing skills could buoy a person to success in any academic field.