Memory is a very intriguing part of daily living. It is very necessary. However, to memorize something can turn out to be difficult. On the other hand, memory can also decline with aging. This is known as Dementia. Nevertheless, there are simple tricks to improve memory. Using these memory-enhancing techniques can help improve your ability to learn new information and retain the information over time.
One of the golden rules of learning and memory is a repeat, repeat, repeat. The brain also responds to novelty, so repeating something in a different way or at a different time will make the most of the novelty effect and allow you to build stronger memories. Examples of using repetition include:
1. Taking notes
2. Repeating a name after you hear it for the first time
3. Repeating or paraphrasing what someone says to you
A day planner or smart phone calendar can help you keep track of appointments and activities and can also serve as a journal in which you write anything that you would like to remember. Writing down and organizing information reinforces learning.
Try jotting down conversations, thoughts, experiences.
Review current and previous day’s entries at breakfast and dinner.
If you use a planner and not a smartphone, keep it in the same spot at home and take it with you whenever you leave.
Learning faces and names is a particularly hard task for most people. In addition to repeating a person’s name, you can also associate the name with an image. Visualization strengthens the association you are making between the face and the name. For example:
Link the name sandy with the image of a beach, and imagine sandy on the beach.
When you are having difficulty recalling a particular word or fact, you can cue yourself by giving related details or ‘talking around’ the word, name, or fact. Other practical ways to cue include:
Using alarms or a kitchen timer to remind you of tasks or appointments.
Placing an object associated with the task you must do in a prominent place at home. For example, if you want to order tickets to a play, leave a newspaper ad for the play near your telephone or computer.
When you’re trying to remember a long list of items, it can help to group the items in sets of three to five, just as you would remember a phone number. This strategy capitalizes on organization and building associations and helps to extend the capacity of our short-term memory by chunking information together instead of trying to remember each piece of information independently. For example:
If you have a list of 15 things on your grocery list, you can group the items by category, such as dairy, produce, canned goods, and frozen foods.
These are some simple tricks to improve memory.
Dementia can knock on the doorstep of even the middle aged.