Though memory has been studied throughout history, it is not understood very well. Most people agree that short-term and long-term memory work differently but some researchers believe all memory processes are basically the same. However, injuries and illnesses usually affect only one or the other. Further study may clear up some mysteries of the human brain.
If you need to remember a complicated piece of information, use the mnemonics technique. This is a way of associating the information with something that is common and familiar. When you make that association, you can think of the common item, and it will trigger your memory of the more complicated piece of information.
Much like a muscle, your brain needs exercise and stimulation to keep it working well. Research has documented that puzzle playing wards off senility.
To help improve your memory and overall brain function, try to eat a healthy diet. Studies have shown that eating certain foods can help improve a person’s memory. Spinach and many fruits, including blueberries, help memory function. Omega-3 fatty acids is also beneficial when trying to improve memory.
When you need to learn something, practice it repeatedly. The more times you practice something, the better recall you will have. This is a way of coding something into the part of you brain that is responsible for long-term memory. If you do not practice, the new information will remain in short-term memory and will be easily forgotten.
Believing you have a poor memory is a self-fulfilling prophecy! If you are constantly telling yourself and other people that you have a bad memory, then that is exactly what you will have! As with anything, keeping a positive attitude will improve the situation so stop reminding yourself that you are forgetful and as your outlook improves, so will your memory!
Try to avoid food high in salt and saturated fats, including fast food. It has been scientifically proven that these foods can lead to carotid artery disease, which cuts off the brain’s oxygen supply. Losing oxygen prevents the part of the brain that holds memory from learning and obtaining information.
Be sure to visit a dentist and take good care of your teeth if you want to have a good memory. Tooth and gum disease have been known to clog your carotid arteries, which in turn decreases oxygen to the brain. Without enough oxygen, the brain cannot process and keep information.
Improve memory with mnemonics. Use an acronym to remember lists of related things. For example, ‘Homes’ is used to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. The first letter of the words in a sentence can represent a list of letters that you have to remember. For example, “Every good boy does fine” can be used to memorize the notes on the lines of a treble clef: E,G,B,D and F.
It’s interesting to note that the sensation known as deja vu is widely believed to be caused by the brain sending an event directly to long-term memory. Trauma to the head often erases long-term memory while sparing short-term memory. On the other hand, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease do just the opposite.