Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

More by this author

8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day 17 Free Websites That Will Improve the Quality of Your Life Today You Don’t Need Extremely High IQ to Be Successful, You Need Self-Control 5 Essential Activities That Will Make Your Brain Healthier

Trending in Science

1 Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science 2 Science Says Screaming Is Good For You 3 Weighted Blanket for Anxiety and Insomnia: How to Make It Work 4 Scientists Discover Why You Should Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering Your Home 5 Science Says Piano Players’ Brains Are Very Different From Everybody Else’s

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

Advertising

Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

Advertising

In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

Advertising

Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

Advertising

In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

Read Next