As the baby boom generation ages the topic of memory is discussed more in the news and on television. No matter what your age, losing your memory can be a concern. Try these exercises and you will have strategies to improve your memory.
- Sleep seven to nine hours per night. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep in order to function at their best. Find out how much your body requires, and then make a point to always get enough sleep. Adequate sleep helps improve your memory by allowing you to focus during the day. Without focus, you won’t notice the details you want to remember, much less retain them.
- Add exercise to your daily routine. Regular exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body. Exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain.
- Play games. Try games like sudoku, word search or crossword puzzles. These games help exercise your brain. Try to allow for fifteen minutes a day of game playing to energize your brain.
- Take notes. You expect your brain to remember hundreds of details every day. Give yourself a break! If you are having the least bit of trouble focusing on a meeting or conversation, your brain is less likely to remember details. So take notes. Give your memory some assistance by writing down key details you want to remember. You may never have to look at them, but just having the notes allows you to relax enough to comprehend what you are hearing.
- Consider taking a supplement. Some studies have shown that nutritional supplements such as ginkgo biloba have a positive impact on maintaining memory as we age. If memory is a concern, ask your doctor if you should add this supplement to your daily regimen.
- Practice repetition. It is impossible to remember everything you say much less everything you hear, see and read. To improve your memory, try repetition. If there is something you want to remember, such as a phone number or address, repeat it to yourself three or four times. Write it down if you can, and then read what you have written. If you are trying to remember more advanced strings of information -- maybe you're preparing for a test or giving a speech -- practice repetition in several forms. The more ways we internalize information, the more likely we are to remember it.
For example, when studying for a test, you could just read the information you want to remember. You'll remember some of the information, but not much. If you read aloud, you may retain more. Add writing to your study practice and the chances of remembering details improve again. The key is to stimulate your brain to remember in as many ways as possible.
- Create word games and clues to trigger memory. The mnemonic devices you used as a kid to remember the colors of a rainbow (ROYGBIV) or the song you sang to remember the order of the presidents, can still help you remember things. Create acronyms of the information you wish to remember. Or create a song if there is enough data that you need to recall. Have fun and your memory will be more likely to recall the information later.
When recalling names and dates is not your specialty, remember there are ways to improve your memory. Add these activities to your daily routine and you can improve your retention and recall of information.