Remember Everything: Life Hacks That Will Improve Memory

Health 2022

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Remember Everything: Life Hacks That Will Improve Memory
Remember Everything: Life Hacks That Will Improve Memory

Video: Remember Everything: Life Hacks That Will Improve Memory

Video: Memory palace: The trick that will help you remember almost anything 2022, December
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Human memory is unpredictable: many of us still remember the words to the 1996 song "Wannabe" performed by the legendary Spice Girls, but forget to remove the laundry from the washing machine before leaving the apartment. Perhaps one of the reasons for universal forgetfulness is the modern rhythm of life with an endless flow of information and a total course towards multitasking. When you need to keep a dozen passwords in your memory and remember who and why you have to write an email, send a message to Facebook or call on WhatsApp, sooner or later you can find yourself looking for your own glasses while they calmly sit on the bridge of the nose. On the other hand, the imperfection of our memory becomes more noticeable precisely because in the modern world it has more and more challenges and, accordingly, chances for failure. Research proves that securing a sharp memory in both the short and long term is not only doable, but within the reach of everyone.

For instant results

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Voice your actions

To ensure the reliable operation of RAM in everyday situations, doctors advise to "turn on the brain" when performing tasks that are considered to be thoughtless. “To keep routine actions in the brain, speak up what you are doing,” advises Dr. Cynthia Green, founder of a company specializing in memory training. When closing the door, unplugging the iron or putting the scissors in the drawer, say: "I am closing the door," "I am unplugging the iron," and so on. By vocalizing the action, you get information about the completed task as if "from the outside". If speaking out loud to yourself is not very convenient, mentally record what you have done in a clear phrase.

Think wider

The brain is able to process a limited amount of information per unit of time, so it is better to combine it into larger blocks. Dr. Gary Small of the University of California Longevity Center, a renowned expert on memory issues, has a simple life hack for this case. Instead of memorizing the password by numbers (3, 8, 2, 7), store it in memory as the numbers 38 and 27: this way the brain will have to remember not four numbers, but only two. If you go to the store for minced veal, milk, salad, oatmeal and buns, but have not made a list, you do not have to scroll through all six positions in your head - it is much more effective to make two semantic blocks: dinner (burgers) and breakfast (oatmeal with milk).

Do not panic

During an exciting interview, the name of an important project that was missing from your resume flew out of your head? Convulsive attempts to remember here and now will most likely lead nowhere, but in the evening, while peeling potatoes, the ill-fated word will suddenly pop up in my memory, but since the spoon is dear to dinner, there is no additional plus sign from the employer. Panic and anxiety distract even more and postpone the chance to remember the important thing: cortisol does not spare either operational or long-term memory. Deep breaths and distracted thoughts will help break the vicious circle: perhaps this way the lost word will return faster.

Long term

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Get enough sleep

We have already talked about why healthy sleep is a guarantee of a sharp mind and good memory: while we sleep, the brain is cleared of a potentially harmful excess of "ballast" substances, processes a lot of information and, most importantly, builds new cells and connections between them. This process, called neuroplasticity, is responsible for motor functions, stimulates learning and regulates memory, and lack of sleep weakens these important brain functions: the effect of sleep deprivation on the brain is similar to jet lag or alcohol intoxication.From smart nightlights to dedicated sleep apps, modern gadgets can help you improve your sleep and wake cycles.

Nourish your memory

If you want to be healthy and remember everything, don't be afraid of fat. Between 50 and 60% of the brain's weight is pure fat, which is used to isolate billions of nerve cells. Foods rich in unsaturated fatty acids - from fish to walnuts to avocados - are important for maintaining long-term memory. A balanced diet in general affects the ability to remember and reproduce information. Doctors recommend not skipping breakfast and, if possible, introducing proteins into it: they trigger the active production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the processes of assimilation of information through a sense of satisfaction.

Go in for sports

Another commonplace that many of us often do not get our hands on (as well as legs and other parts of the body that can be strengthened). Physical activity helps the brain perform at optimal performance. During exercise, nerve cells produce important proteins, one of which - a neurotrophic factor - stimulates the production of substances that are responsible for the health of neurons and the maintenance of cognitive functions, including effective memory. Studies have shown that in people who exercise relatively regularly, the hippocampus (the so-called memory center) has increased on average from 1 to 2% per year - this despite the fact that the hippocampus, as a rule, gradually decreases in size (sometimes this is a symptom of Alzheimer's disease).

Deal with stress

When we are in nervous tension, in this very "memory center" the level of cortisol rises, which can interfere with the processing and reproduction of information and in the long term threatens with serious consequences. “Over the years, chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to impaired memory and a shrinking hippocampus,” says Shirin Cindy, a neuroscientist at McGill University. Taking care of your own cognitive abilities is another reason to deal with accumulated stress or depression: meditation helps some, others choose sports or a change in activity, and for some, an internal dialogue or the help of a psychoanalyst is the way out.

Curb multitasking

It takes the brain about 8 seconds to identify information in the "memory compartment". So, if you are on the phone and unload packages with groceries, while trying to get rid of the keys that take your hands, you will still get rid of them - safely forgetting where exactly they were left. Constant multitasking on the verge of frustration and chasing items on endless to-do lists often leads to stress, and this, as it turns out, is a serious blow to memory. In the matter of multitasking, it is useful to take note of the philosophy of slowlife: at work, if possible, perform tasks one by one, with short breaks, and build your leisure time based on a pace that is comfortable for you.

Train your brain

Exercises that can make the brain "tense" and work in an unfamiliar direction generate new cells in the hippocampus. You can solve puzzles, learn to play a new musical instrument, learn a foreign language, recite poems or take online memory tests - whatever you choose, in the future, such a cognitive reserve can protect against memory loss and even dementia. Special applications for brain fitness will also help stimulate neuroplasticity (we talked about them in the material on the benefits of meditation). In general, the main thing is to keep the brain in good shape - although it is not a muscle, it also needs training for productive work.

Photos: Keity_Gee - stock.adobe.com, vitaly tiagunov - stock.adobe.com, Björn Wylezich - stock.adobe.com

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