Improving Memory RetentionAug 18, 2022
There are many things people can do to improve their memory retention. Some of these techniques are more common than others, but all of them can be helpful. This blog post will discuss practical methods for improved memory retention, so you won't easily forget what you must remember.
What was it again?
Ever experienced a situation where you are trying to recall something you know but can't? Or not remembering where you placed a particular item, such as your car keys, that you just recently placed somewhere? Short-term memory loss happens to all of us now and then. You know you remember in your mind something, but suddenly, you forget about it. It's pretty normal to experience such a thing. However, it can get annoying and troublesome when memory loss happens more often.
As we age, we experience cognitive decline that results in memory problems. In addition, older people may acquire Alzheimer's disease, which can result in memory decline. Even if we don't get such an ailment, it's noticeable that we become more forgetful as we age. In addition, adults who lead stressful lives and have unhealthy habits can also suffer from memory loss. No cure can instantly help us remember everything we want, but some ways can sharpen our memory and help lessen memory loss. We need to take care of our brain health and train it like how we train our muscles to improve physically to help us remember many things in everyday life. The following are some things you can do that affect memory retention and improve it.
1. Deliberately practice memorizing things
Technology has done many wonders to our lives, but it can come with a cost. Nowadays, we jot down many things and data on our devices and save them as documents, lists, or notes. These various data can include important letters, passwords, schedules, telephone numbers, usernames, and many others. If we want to remember them, we only need to look at our electronic data, and in the case of passwords or telephone numbers, let the device enter them automatically. You might forget these vital data because you let the automated processes do the remembering and input for you instead of memorizing them in your head.
We're not saying you should shun technology and don't use them for the sake of memorizing. However, try to remember things in your head instead of relying solely on technology to store them for you. For example, try manually remembering your friends and family's birthdays and phone numbers instead of jotting them down on your gadgets. Likewise, when logging in to a website, try to input your username and password manually instead of using an automated password-filling application or a QR code. When you consciously memorize and recall things, you exercise your brain and can improve your long-term memory retention.
2. Repeat memorizing things
One can improve memory by repeatedly recalling information. The more times one recalls something, the better you will remember something. Here's something you can do to improve your memory through repetition. Whenever you are on downtime and can't find anything to do, try remembering and enumerating things in your head as an activity. It can be anything, such as the names of your friends, the specs of your gadgets, the list of items you need to buy at the grocery, etc. Then at a later time, try to recall the same things again and see if you can remember them. This repeated exercise of enumerating and retrieving information in your head trains your brain to remember things. So the next time you have to remember something, it can be easier to identify since you often thought of it in your head.
3. Get organized
Do you keep forgetting stuff and can't remember where you placed them? Being organized can help you. It's more challenging to remember where things are located if your items are in a mess and your place is full of clutter. Organizing and decluttering can help you get sorted, and tracking the location of things becomes more accessible. Organizing can also apply in other situations, such as having specific pages and parts of a notebook to jot down particular types of information or creating different folders in a computer to save different file types. Not only can organizing help you remember things, but it can also provide other benefits like saving your time from looking at lost stuff.
4. Use various memory techniques to help you remember
Remembering information only through words can make it difficult to recall, especially when too much information is stored in your head. Various devices can reinforce your memory retention, and it will be an excellent idea to use them. Mnemonic devices like acronyms can help you remember a list of items by taking the first letter of different words and arranging each of the letters in such a way that they form an acronym that is easier to memorize and recall. Associating images to information, such as remembering the image you see on the page where you have read about something, can also help. Sorting the information you remember into small groups can also enhance your memory retention, such as memorizing a phone number by recalling numbers in groups of three instead of a single straight succession of digits. Relating new information to those you know helps create associations and expand your memory base by connecting various related information.
5. Continuously learn and improve your mental activity.
Memory gets sharper the more you use your brain and engage in activities that utilize your mind. Continuous learning in life gives you new ideas and concepts that you can associate with what you know and gives you more things you can remember if you want. As a bonus, you may even learn new skills and techniques that can help you achieve success in life. Another activity you can do is playing puzzles or games that require a strategy that helps keep your mind fresh and attentive.
6. Keep yourself healthy
Your health affects your memory retention, so if you have poor health habits, you better start improving and working on them if you don't want to suffer from memory loss. Some of the things you can do are:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Doing physical activity as a daily habit, such as exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep every day
- Reducing the number of things that can give you stress
- Taking a break or meditating to give yourself time to rest
7. Focus on one thing at a time
Getting inundated with too much information can make it challenging to remember something. If you're having difficulty remembering things, try to reduce the number of tasks on your to-do lists, and don't flood your head with too many thoughts simultaneously. Focusing on one thing allows you to pay attention to it. When you give greater attention to something, you will have greater chances of remembering than when you are breezing through quickly because of multitasking. In addition, time spent focusing on something and repetition can help you remember things more efficiently, and you can manage better by zeroing in on one task or thing before moving to the next.
Remember things better
We may not be able to prevent memory loss completely, but we can always do things to keep it from happening frequently and delay its occurrence. Sure, we may not remember everything we want, but we probably don't want to lose precious information that easily, such as the names of our loved ones. Thankfully, various things can help us retain and improve our memory, and it's a good idea to practice them while we are still young and turn them into a habit. We want to remember many things because they are valuable to us, and retaining information that matters to us can be done with the proper effort and habits that aid memory retention.