Most of us will admit that we don’t remember many things we ought to – phone numbers, addresses, names, birthdays etc. And the list does not end here. While memory, the power of the mind to remember things, might be a mechanism built in at birth, it is up to us to maintain and improve our memory through life, much like muscles. Embracing these simple mind exercises in our busy lives will help make our memory sharper.
- Mental Video: When you are in bed, try to recollect the events of your day up until that moment. While in the beginning you tend to skip the details, the trick is to keep at it and watch yourself get better. And in turn, you will become more aware of your daily activities because you need to recollect them in the evening.
- Challenge: Trying your hand at crosswords and Sudoku every day isn’t a waste of time. Puzzles engage the mind by challenging you to focus on finding a solution. Playing crosswords is actually fun because crosswords, mazes and word searches exercise the same skills that are required to pay good attention. Moreover, you can try counting backwards from 1000 aloud every day and see your memory improve dramatically.
- Take a walk: Exercise increases blood flow to your brain and, therefore, your cognitive function. However, walking reduces anxiety and a relaxed brain remembers better. To sharpen your memory, try to remember all the landmarks on your walk route.
- Clean up your desk: Clean up your cupboard, bag, car and life. Being organised improves your memory. Using notes and calendars to organise your schedule makes it easier to place things and to recollect them.
- Memorise and pause: Committing to memory is not instantaneous; you need to give your brain some time to form a memory. When memorising, for instance, a phone number, try to avoid distractions for a couple of minutes and focus on learning.
- Beauty sleep for the brain: Get a good night’s sleep, the recommended dose of seven hours a night. A good night’s sleep which lends more time for REM sleep (that part of sleep where we have vivid dreams) is significantly related to improving memory.
Simple they may be, but these exercises are your key to remembering phone numbers again, never forgetting your grocery list and never feeling awkward at a party for forgetting names. Worth a try you think?