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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory and Memorize Anything Faster

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory and Memorize Anything Faster

Imagine the power of being able to memorize anything faster.

Think about how much time you’d have, how much you could shorten the learning curve, and how much more success you could achieve.

So much of what we read and absorb today is forgotten in our brains; we are not leveraging our time to its full potential. How many times have you had to read through a book two or three times because you couldn’t remember the information inside?

Apply these five research-backed ways to improve your memory, and you’ll be memorizing faster in no time.

1. Give it meaning

Meaning can be the difference between understanding something on an emotional level and forgetting it in an instant.

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One research showed two people the same photograph of a face and told one of them that the guy was a baker and the other that his last name was Baker. After a few days, the researcher showed the same two subjects the same photograph and asked for the associating word.

The person who was told that the man was a “baker” remembered it much more easily. Can you guess why?

When you hear “baker” your brain associates visual representations of what it means to be a baker. He bakes bread, wears a big white hat–we are given a vivid illustration that most of us are familiar with, therefore giving it more meaning. Baker as a last name, on the other hand, is rather meaningless unless you already have a friend or colleague with that name.

This theory, known as the Baker/baker paradox, teaches us that we should train ourselves to translate more meaning into information we want to make memorable.

2. Exercise that body!

You’ll rarely find anyone who dedicated their lives to physical health with memory dysfunctions. Exercise enhances blood circulation and oxygen to our brain, giving it more functionality.

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A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association supports that even 150 minutes of walking per week will reduce the risk of developing dementia and age-related memory loss.

As an added benefit, exercise is known to release dopamines in our bodies, which reduces depression and stress, two major causes of memory loss.

3. Train your mind

Many of us can recognize the visual benefits of training our bodies, but we often forget to train our minds. While the before and after results are not as clear, there is no doubt that mind exercises can significantly enhance our memories and reduce brain-related diseases.

Instead of watching Game of Thrones several hours a day, we can learn a new skill, play brain training games, or even play chess with a friend. The rule of thumb is, if you need to take a mental break from the activity, it’s good training for the brain.

Here are some ideas to thrill your brain:

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4. Teach it to someone else

Throughout our education, we’ve been taught to listen (typically to a lecture) and write down notes in order to memorize the information. But how many times have you taught something to someone, or immediately applied what you learn?

As research shows, it turns out that people retain:

  • 5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture
  • 10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading
  • 20% of what they learn from audio-visual
  • 30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
  • 50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion
  • 75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned
  • 90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately

This means that the way we’ve been taught to remember information is the least effective way to learn!

If we want to memorize anything faster, the trick is to teach someone else or apply it in your life immediately. This forces our brain to concentrate in order to prevent ourselves from making mistakes while showing others or using it ourselves.

The next time you want to remember something, don’t just write it down. Teach it to someone!

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5. Sleep

This step is perhaps the most important, but one that most of us take for granted.

While we understand the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep before a big event, we don’t take the time to rest our brains after the event. Our brain needs rest in order to process all the information that it took in during the day.

Taking short breaks is also important to give your brain the bandwidth to process what you’ve learned. Just remember to put yourself in a distraction-free environment when doing so. This could mean going for a long walk or hike at your local park, or simply taking a quick nap.

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Last Updated on June 21, 2018

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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