Do you keep forgetting where you put your keys? Or do you lose your phone when it’s in your hand? Maybe it’s the weakening of your memory. When everything you need is stored in notes or on a hard drive, and memorable dates prompt reminders, the brain relaxes. Therefore, memory becomes weaker. But there is good news – it can be trained!
Moreover, it is better to start improving memory from a young age: it will help keep the mind in good shape. And this is very useful in old age, when the brain, alas, begins to age and falter.
Types of memory
There are 3 types of memory:
- Touch. This is information from our senses, which is transmitted automatically and stored for only up to 3 seconds.
- Short-term. The information in it is “held” for only 30 seconds and quickly “erased” from memory without repetition.
- Long-term. This is a “storage” in which information is stored for hours, months, and decades. In turn, long-term memory is divided into procedural (body movements, use of objects) and declarative (facts, dates, names, events).
At first glance, everything seems simple. But people still do not know exactly how memory works and why we forget something important, but remember the insignificant. Emotions play a big role in remembering, but at the same time, from strong stress, on the contrary, we forget everything.
There are other classifications of memory: auditory, visual, motor, and complex. Moreover, not all people have these types developed equally: for some, one type works better, and the other worse. Simply put, someone remembers faster by reading, while someone needs to listen or write down several times.
Types of attention
Long-term memory would not be without attention, because often we concentrate on something in order to remember. There are 3 types of attention:
- Involuntary – does not require effort. It is “on” constantly in the background: it reacts to loud sounds, flashes of light, etc. We do not need it for memory training.
- Arbitrary is the result of our volitional efforts, when we force ourselves to concentrate. So, you need to concentrate on the information that you need to remember.
- Post-voluntary – initially driven by an effort of will, and then supported by interest. So, you just need to force yourself to read the book, and then it is impossible to tear yourself away. This is also useful to us, for example, when solving puzzles.
Simultaneously with memory and attention, it is necessary to develop thinking, but we will talk about it another time.
There is a version that a person actually does not forget anything: he simply cannot pull out the necessary information from long-term memory! This is the main snag: it is necessary to memorize qualitatively and quickly search for information in the storage of long-term memory. Our exercises are unlikely to allow you to remember all the digits of Pi after the decimal point, but it’s quite enough to train your memory for daily tasks!
How to improve visual memory?
These are tables with cells in which numbers are scattered. Task: silently counting (without speaking to yourself) to find them in order. To perform the exercise correctly, you need to focus on the central cell and look for numbers using your peripheral vision.
Great for developing a photographic memory. Remember first simple objects, simple drawings. Children’s fun works well – the search for differences. Games, where you need to find a hidden object in a picture, are also great for training visual memory. These are all variations of the Aivazovsky technique.
How to develop auditory memory?
Eavesdrop on vehicles
No, do not collect appearances and passwords, but simply listen to snippets of conversations and remember them. The content of conversations, intonation, speech features – try to remember in the morning, and in the evening reproduce the dialogues of fellow travelers in your mind.
Adults read to themselves 99% of the time, but reading aloud is very good for memory. It activates the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for goal-setting and self-organization.
Listen to audiobooks
If you want to improve your listening memory, audiobooks are a godsend. Start with short stories. Listen, and then retell the events to yourself, visualize the characters.
How to improve short-term memory?
A calculator is always at hand, but counting in your head is much more useful for short-term memory. Start with simple arithmetic, and then count the percentages (discounts and promotions), multiply, and divide.
Use your non-working hand during everyday tasks. Your motor memory knows perfectly well how to perform the usual actions with your working hand, and using the other hand forms new neural connections and stimulates motor memory. This is a simple exercise, but you will be surprised how uncomfortable it will be at first.
Quick gymnastics for the brain
When solving small Sudokus, short-term memory is involved. Start solving them at speed, trying to memorize more and more numbers each time. Puzzles are good for training RAM, where you need to memorize several elements in a short time. For example, inverted cards must be opened strictly in pairs.
How to develop long-term memory?
Gradually start relying only on your memory. Memorize your to-do list, shopping list, phone numbers, addresses, and more. It is useful to memorize poems and new words. A great way to improve your memory is to learn foreign languages.
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Try to remember a long-read book, movie, series, or conversation. Get information out of your head as often as possible without resorting to third-party sources. For example, you have a rough shopping list for the week. Learn it and shop from memory. Constantly refer to the information you have learned without looking at a written list.