By Faith Strickland
Remembering information is a skill we must use every day. As the years go by and leave the student years behind, people often find that their long-term memory becomes unreliable. This may occur because of lack of opportunities to use memory, or it can even be because of poor nutrition, insufficient sleep or high levels of stress. You can increase your long-term memory by following a few tips that work for educators.
Both the body and the brain need good nutrition to function at its best. Even memory function can be affected by a poor diet. Food that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help to boost brain power, concentration and memory. Fish, nuts and seeds are high in these fatty acids. Blueberries are full of anti-oxidants that can help to minimize aging and diminishing brain function. Whole grains that are full of B vitamins can also help to help your brain and memory working well.
Brain Boosting Supplements
If your daily diet is low on some of these foods, you can take brain boosting supplements like vitamin C, vitamin B, magnesium and beta-carotene that can help with memory function. Ginseng and gingko biloba are herbs that are also used for boosting brain power.
One traditional way of committing data to memory is repetition. This method is used to teach children from the early years when they enter school, and it continues to be effective throughout lifelong learning. However, repetition is just the first step. Repetition puts the information into short-term memory easily, but you must do a bit more to get it into long-term memory so that you can recall it at a much later date.
Relate the Information to Something Meaningful
To take information from short-term memory to long-term memory, you must find a way to relate it to your life experience to make it meaningful. This transference can be done in a number of ways. Mnemonic devices like using the first letter of each word and making into a easily-remembered word is one common way to do this. Such as using the word “HOMES” to remember the names of the five Great Lakes, Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. Or use a memorable phrase like “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles” to remember the planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Using any device that relates the information to everyday life helps to commit it to your long-term memory.
Memorization is like a muscle that gets stronger with use. The more you try to remember, the greater will be your capacity to hold this information. Seek out opportunities to use your long-term memory, whether it is learning a new language, taking up a new hobby or remembering peoples’ names. Add new words to your vocabulary and find places to use the words in daily life. Though computers and smartphone do most of our remembering for us, it’s a good idea to “use it or lose it” to keep your long-term memory in top shape.
Faith Strickland is a school teacher who loves her job and always stresses the value of learning to her students. She is also a contributing writer at SuperScholar.org.
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Great tips and info for anyone getting older. http://hub.me/a9ix5
Thanks for the link, but I think we are still miles always from deciphering the true science of how memory actually works.
One thing I believe is missing from your list is getting a good night's sleep. If sleeping well is not one of your priorities, you would have problems with your memory, especially at old age. It is known that sleep is important for consolidation of your memory. I suggest at least 7 hours of sleep. Also, I would suggest getting to bad relatively early, and not after 11 pm.