Many people say they have a terrible memory when they have a problem with habits, attitude, or discipline. Memory is not an ability that some people are born with, and others are not. It is something that, like muscles, is developed through willpower and hard work.
Whether you need memory to study for competitive exams or look at a university or a high school student, the following free tips and tricks will be handy to increase your memory in the medium term and with relatively little effort. Read on for our paper writing guide to get the most out of your memory skills.
Long-term memory and short-term memory
What is short-term memory?
As the name suggests, short-term memory is the ability to remember a particular piece of information for a limited period. Generally, short-term memory has a capacity of about seven items (letters, numbers, etc.).
Short-term memory can become long-term memory if the stimulus is repeated enough (study).
How to improve short-term memory?
Several ways and exercises to "hack" the system to store more data than your capacity allows. Let's see some of them:
It consists of grouping the elements in units that have some sense or function as elements in themselves.
Affective or emotional priming can be defined as how our emotional reactions to a stimulus influence how we assimilate that stimulus.
What is long-term memory?
Short-term memory is the memory that allows us to remember things, as the name suggests, over a long period, ranging from minutes to a lifetime.
Long-term memory includes almost all of our knowledge. It is, predictably, the type of memory that is of interest to students taking exams at universities, colleges, competitive examinations, etc.
Long-term memory always begins as a short-term memory that settles in our cognition.
Exercises and tricks to improve long-term memory
There is no quick and easy route to improving long-term memory. Short-term memory is transformed into long-term memory through repetition (study) and concentration.
However, there are different ways to enhance our knowledge acquisition, either through lifestyle habits or intellectual practices such as reading or playing board games.
If you read on, we will outline some of the things you can do to facilitate your knowledge acquisition.
Strategies to improve memory
No doubt eating well has numerous positive effects on health, including, for example, benefits that affect cognitive functions such as memory.
A balanced diet is always recommended. However, below we will suggest some foods that can promote memory development.
Sleep has numerous advantages: it reduces stress, rejuvenates the skin, and keeps the brain fresh and healthy. In people who have severe insomnia, we observe disorientation, hallucinations, and severe cognitive losses, including memory impairment.
Therefore, there seems to be a direct relationship between getting a good night's sleep and these functions. Make sure you sleep a minimum of eight hours a day to achieve the state of rest your body needs, regularly check your mattress, choose the one that is right for you and change it every ten years.
If you've forgotten something, it's always good to ask your pillow.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was famous for his overwhelming personal charisma. One of the most commonly mentioned characteristics about this man is that he would stop and listen carefully to what anyone had to say and always stuck with names and situations.
A politician, let alone ahead of government or a head of state, meets many people over a single day. Memory is indispensable when one is a public figure not to look bad, remembering when and where we have seen this person before, what relationship we have with them, etc.
We are sure that you live a much more discreet life than the President of the United States. However, we believe that these tips apply to you as well. How many times are we waiting for the other person to finish speaking to say what we want to say? How often do we divert the focus of attention from the other person to ourselves? How often do we fail to remember the name of someone we have seen before?
These are examples of lousy socialization that, in principle, should disappear the more you socialize. Socializing properly and exercising the use of memory go hand in hand.
No one expects much from others, so nothing pleases someone you've known for a day more than for you to remember their name and some fact about them that they've told you in a previous conversation you've had.
Socialize enough to repeat this situation, and you'll have a great memory exercise.
We often don't remember things not because of a lack of memory but because we haven't paid enough attention. We usually go through life too focused on ourselves, locked in our thoughts.
It is difficult to remember when things pass us by without touching us. Practice the here and now, shed your ego, and make every moment count, and soon you will begin to have more vivid memories of your experiences. Mindfulness meditation can help you achieve this goal.
Games to exercise your memory.
This version of Mahjong, better known in the West and usually available in mobile, tablet, or computer apps, consists of putting together pairs of matching pieces that meet the following conditions:
A priori a simple game, you will be surprised by the difficulty of memorizing the situation of the different pieces on the board and their characteristics (covered - not covered, free sides - not free sides) to find your next pair to discard in the shortest possible time
I had a hard time understanding the hard truth of Chess: How can I "not know how to play" this game if I know how to move the pieces and all that? How am I supposed to think fast about my moves and pretend to win? That's where you make a mistake, my friend. Contrary to what many people believe, this is not a thinking game. It's a memorizing game.
Why play Chess?
Chess has been with us for many centuries since the Muslims stole the idea of Chaturanga from the Indians, and we stole the view from the Muslims. Every move has been studied and analyzed.
Every move, you say? You may be wondering. But indeed, every game is unique. You may be formulating in your head. Yes and no. Not every possible development in every conceivable combination has been collected and studied if that's what you're wondering. Still, indeed, there are quite a few constants in a game where the pieces can only move a certain way on a sixty-four square board.
Every opening move has been studied, and with that, much of the game can be determined. A skilled chess player knows how to react to any opening movement of the opponent and predicts his general mentality or, better yet, knows how to respond to guide the opponent to a series of good moves.
Ultimately, in this chess game, the winner is not the one who makes the most innovative moves. The winner is already determined in advance, and it is the one who has studied more games
Before the Japanese brought us Pokemon Go, there were Go or Chinese checkers. An ancient game that originated in China more than 4000 years ago appears in the Analects of Confucius, better known in the Spanish-speaking world for being the father of confusion.
Why play Go?
Like the rest of the games on this list, Go has a long tradition and multiple strategies and moves already studied. The excellent Wikipedia entry in Spanish refers to Go strategy manuals covering much greater breadth than treatises on quantum physics.
Be that as it may, Go is considered a game of knowledgeable people in Japan and the Far East. There must be a reason for this.
From the traditional chess family, a descendant of Indian Chaturanga. We will skip the flowery history of this chess modality and go directly to the game itself:
It is a 9×9 board (81 squares) on which each player has 20 pieces in 3 rows, two rows of 9, and a row of 2 in between. Our objective is, naturally, to take over the opponent's king.
Each piece has a series of specific moves, as you can imagine. The particularity of this game is that the details can be promoted, acquiring new ranks of activities.
Why play Shogi?
It is a complex game with a relatively structured set of rules in which you will have to memorize not only the moves of your new pieces but which of those pieces have been promoted and their new moves.
And, naturally, your strategies and moves, as in Chess, have been exhaustively studied, analyzed, and dissected.
This game is considered a game of quite cultured and refined people in Japan.
Diet for your memory
Surely you're not surprised to see fish at the top of the list of memory-boosting foods. Surely you can remember your mother or grandmother insisting that you have to eat fish, that it's good for your memory.
And, as always, your mother and grandmother were right. Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 and Vitamin B12, which are believed to help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
So it's time for you to visit your neighborhood fishmonger, look the fish in the eye and make peace with them. You won't regret it (as long as the fish is fresh).
They're expensive if not in season, but they're a continuous gift of micro-nutrients. There's nothing like a raspberry smoothie on a summer afternoon.
And it also turns out that studies indicate that it improves cognitive function due to its flavonoid and antioxidant-rich content, so treat yourself and grab that box of blackberries for two with five bucks at Mercadona.
Another great food that never stops giving us joy. Once converted into the great satans of the kitchen, this food has recently been claimed as a food of great nutritional value with high levels of vitamins B6 and B12, plus folic acid and choline, a precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that influences the memory process.
And no, I haven't been eaten by the egg council.
What's better than a full glass of fresh milk? Knowing that it is a food of great nutritional value that, like the egg, contains a large amount of Vitamin B12 that helps maintain our cognitive functions.
Coffee is a beverage that allows concentration, mainly activating the frontal lobe, which is responsible for our analytical and judgmental abilities.
Rich in protein and low in fat. Another source of vitamin B12.
They have potassium, a fundamental component in the functioning of neurons.
They are shaped like tiny brains. Nature is wise, so there must be a reason.
Some studies suggest that regular consumption of nuts helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases, as they are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Supplements to improve memory
The following supplements are present in most foods and are preferable to obtain from a balanced diet rather than pills or sachets. Also, remember that too much can be almost as bad as too little. That said, we proceed to list the most important ones:
Present in almost all fish. Very involved in the functioning of the nervous system.
Present in all foods of animal origin. It is instrumental for the proper functioning of neurons.
An antioxidant that protects the brain from deterioration. Present mainly in vegetables.
Antioxidant that protects the central nervous system from deterioration. Present in olive oil, nuts, and avocados.
Precursor of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved in memory functions. Present in greens, fish, vegetables, and lean meats.
A mineral that contributes to the proper functioning of the brain and cognitive functions. Present in seafood and low-fat meats. Thank you, Zinc!