Memory: How to Sharpen It

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Alternately, it can be defined as the mental faculty of remembering or recognizing previous encounters. It’s vital in our everyday lives. We would not be able to function in the current without relying on our memory.

Human memory involves three components:

1. Encoding – Encoding is the first step to creating new memory. It allows information to be converted into a construct that’s stored in the mind. It’s a process which begins with understanding through the senses. The creation of memory begins with attention. A memorable event causes neurons in the brain to fire more often, which makes the experience more intense and increasing the likelihood that the event is encoded as a memory. Emotion tends to increase attention.

2. Storing and keeping data – Storing and retaining is the more or less passive process of keeping information in the mind, while it’s the sensory memory, the short-term memory or the more permanent long-term memory. The more the information is replicated or used, the more likely it is to be retained in memory.

3. Recalling – Recalling of memory refers to the subsequent re-accessing of events or information from the past, which have been previously encoded and stored in the brain. In common parlance, it’s known as remembering.

However, memory is malleable and it has a tendency to decay with age. So, an individual can remain sharp by learning about the science of recollection.

The human mind has an incredible ability to reshape itself when it comes to memory and learning. The brain’s natural power of neuroplasticity enables us to learn and enhance our memory at any age.

Ways to Boost memory –

The following are some of the important ways to sharpen memory:

Exercise your mind – Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to”use it or lose it.” The more one works out one’s brain, the better one will be able to process and remember information. To strengthen the mind, one needs to keep learning and developing new skills. The activity needs to be something that is unfamiliar and out of our comfort zone. The action should be challenging one. An activity, which allows starting at a simple level and works our way up as our abilities improve, pushing us to continue to stretch our capabilities, is more appropriate.

Maybe, exercise plays an important role in neuroplasticity by fostering growth factors and stimulating new neuronal connections. Aerobic exercise is particularly good for the brain, so we should choose activities that keep our blood pumping. On the whole, any physical exercise that is good for our heart is terrific for our brain. A year of regular aerobic exercise can up the size of an adult’s hippocampus by 2 percent, says study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The researchers also have found that regular strength training may boost short¬ and long¬ term memory functionality and attention. Physical activities that require complex motor movements are especially beneficial for brain building.

Proceed for the joe – The researchers have discovered that caffeine blocks inflammation in the brain, especially adenosine receptors, which may begin a chain reaction that begins the mind’s cognitive decline. The amount of caffeine we consume depends upon the strength of the coffee and the size of the cup. An individual should not go beyond the limit of drinking three cups of joe of regular size daily to derive the benefit. On the contrary, consuming more coffee than this may negatively affect mental health.

Develop healthful sleep habits – More than 95% of adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night in order to avoid sleep deprivation. Even skimping on a couple of hours makes a difference! Memory, imagination, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills are all compromised. The research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.

Make friends – Humans are highly social. We’re not meant to survive, let alone flourish, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brains. In actuality, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise. Research indicates that having meaningful friendships are vital not only to psychological health but also to brain health. Researchers have also found that individuals with the most active social lives has the most rapid rate of memory decline.

Keep stress in check – Stress is among the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. Studies also have linked stress to memory loss.

Eat brain-boosting meals – A diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (like olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits. Such a diet may also enhance memory. For brain health, it is significant that it is not just what we eat, it is also what we don’t eat.

Boost skills to memorize – We can take practical steps to encourage learning and memory from the following:

• Paying attention,

• Focusing on understanding fundamental ideas for more complex material,

• Rehearsing information we have already learned,

• Using mnemonic devices to make memorization easier.

The bottom line is that human memory tends to decline with age but, on the contrary, it is malleable due to brain’s remarkable power of neuroplasticity. We can sharpen our memory by taking appropriate measures, which are within the reach of everyone but they need to be practiced regularly and effectively.

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