Are you one one of the growing number of people wondering how to improve memory? Improving memory is on many people’s to-do lists due to the applicability of a sharp memory in all aspects of life.
Mentalists and memory coaches will tell you that anyone can do it. Anyone can harness the power of the mind. But why, more specifically, should we want to do that? And how exactly can we do it?
Mental Coaching, Nutrition and Exercise
The primary method for improving memory is through mental coaching and exercise. There are theories as to what works best for retaining new skills and information in our long-term memories. Much of this has to do with learning how to learn and unlearning ineffective methods of learning we picked up in school.
Let’s learn some good tips about learning from a couple notable master memory coaches!
Jim Kwik teaches people how to improve memory. He is a learning expert, the CEO of Kwik Learning, and inventor of a learning ideology called F.A.S.T.
The “F,” surprisingly, stands for “forgetting.” Jim suggests that we forget what we think we know about the subjects we wish to learn. That way, we’re more open to the information rather than believing we already have it. In this instance, “forgetting” also refers to forgetting about things that aren’t related to the subject we’re trying to learn such as world events, pop culture, etc.
The “A” stands for “active.” Being active in our learning is essential for remembering what we learn. We were taught to be passive learners in school. We sat and retained copious amounts of mundane information for tests just to forget much of it later. Active learning is about effective note-taking and learning in ways that resonate with our personalities (auditory learning as opposed to visual learning, for example).
The “S” stands for “state.” What state of mind are we in while learning? Kwik teaches that information combined with emotion equals memory. Learning quickly and effectively is about making learning feel like playing. Yes, we should be having fun while learning rather than learning in a mundane, “inactive” way.
The “T” stands for “teach.” We should learn a skill as if we’re going to have to teach it to somebody else. This will improve our attention and make us care more. And if we do go on to actually teach it, the knowledge will be more likely to remain in our long-term memories.
Nelson Dellis is another person who teaches people how to improve memory. He is an American memory athlete, Grandmaster of Memory, mountaineer, and published author. He’s also a proponent of the “linking method.”
The linking method is a good method to use when memorizing lists and is done by creating a narrative to “link” all of the items together. For example, in order to memorize all the presidents of the United States in order with the linking method, one would create a story that links them all. The story wouldn’t necessarily have to do with specific attributes of each specific president, but rather works by creating associations with surrounding aspects of the story. Maybe George “Washing”ton was “washing” his car and so on.
Nelson Dellis also uses “memory palaces” as a tool to memorize vast quantities of information. A memory palace is a thoroughly recognized place that has many areas users can form a path through to “set” things. Common memory palaces are houses and even cities. Nelson Dellis claims he memorized 10,000 digits of pi by using memory palaces.
What we eat determines how well we learn. Actually, to those wondering how to improve memory, memory coaches will say that focusing on nutrition is absolutely essential.
There are specific foods to focus on for improving memory. Try adding these brain-boosters to more of your meals.
You may have heard blueberries referred to as “brain-berries.” Blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and have been studied and proven, among other berries, to protect the brain and enhance memory.
Blueberries can be easily eaten by themselves or deliciously added to cereals, smoothies, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
These are the perfect nuts for those wondering how to improve memory. Walnuts are a great food for the brain. Why? Studies show that eating walnuts for just 28 days may improve memory and cognition significantly.
Aim to eat a small handful of them each day for the best benefits.
Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon
The healthy omega 3s in salmon, particularly DHA, are important for brain development. The fats also prove to be an important element for preventing and slowing Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also worth noting that DHA from salmon has powerful anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Wild-caught fish is best for the highest quality fats. Sourcing the salmon from Alaska ensures sustainable fishing methods, but also check for the Marine Stewardship Council logo.
Avocados are another great brain-food that have been receiving a lot of attention. They benefit the brain because they contain brain-supporting fats and key nutrients including b-vitamins and some minerals.
Moving Your Body
Learning how to improve memory isn’t just about sitting at a desk and studying, it’s about getting up and moving as well. The health of our brains is a reflection of the health of our bodies and vice-versa.
Exercise is essential for maintaining energy levels and optimizing brain function. But how exactly should we exercise to reap the most benefit for our brains? Here are some tips.
1 Be consistent. Try to move in some way or another every day. Walking, jogging, dancing, yoga, and sports are all good options.
2 If accessible to you, try to move intensely for short periods of time. Examples would be sprints and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Studies are revealing that this form of training works by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). High BDNF is often considered a good marker of high cognition.
3 Exercise outside barefoot in the sun. The sun helps raise vitamin D levels which helps the brain. Going barefoot, recently coined “earthing,” has been scientifically proven to decrease inflammation, which is always a good thing for the brain.
Brain-health + Practice = Better Learning Capabilities
Overall, anyone who is interested in learning how to improve memory is capable of doing so.
By focusing on nutrition, exercise, and some memory protocols, you can improve your memory substantially in a relatively short amount of time.
Jim Kwik often mentions that chopping wood with a dull knife is extremely difficult. He uses this as a metaphor for those who try to make it in the world with a dull brain. It makes daily activities, tasks, and projects hard to cut through.
Try some of these methods on improving memory and experience the benefits yourself!
Interested in discovering more ways to optimize your life? Visit the TelMD Upstream blog!
Let’s make wellness contagious!™
August 24, 2019
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