Want the easy ways to improve memory power and concentration then this article is for you. If you are like most people who face trouble concentrating or focusing their attention then also this article is written to help you improve it.If you believe you can improve your memory and concentration and can put that belief into practice, you can achieve a sharp mind.
Memory is like a muscle with “use it or lose it” policy while concentration is a habit that needs to be worked on. If you want to reduce sudden forgetfulness and those blackout periods then you need to improve your concentration and for that you have to STOP MULTI-TASKING.
Only one thing at a time should be your motto for improving memory power and concentration along with Physical activity to improve brain health.
Some common factors that can adversely affect your ability to concentrate are inadequate sleep, a poor diet, dehydration, hunger and physical inactivity including certain medicines. So, check your daily routine and find out the reasons. Then work on those reasons to improve your concentration.
Along with doing “one thing at a time” philosophy, if there is only one more thing that you can do to improve memory power and concentration. And that is “Physical Exercise”. Do sit in chairs for hours, walk, run, jog. Do something to move the body.
Note: People with more fatty tissue tend to have less water than people with less fatty tissue. Overweight people also have less brain tissue. The more overweight you are, the more your brain is likely to shrink and affect your memory.
To benefit from the Easy Ways To Improve Memory Power and Concentration, eat as little processed sugar as possible, include Fish Oil in your meals, set aside time for pranayama or yoga, maintain a healthy weight, take a break and unplug from social media on a regular basis, get enough sleep, practice mindfulness, and train your brain.
“For the majority of people, it’s not a memory problem per se, but it’s more of a concentration or organizational problem where they’re not getting the information initially, or they’re not processing it correctly in the first place,” says Aaron Bonner-Jackson, PhD, a neuropsychologist with Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “They say they have a memory problem when in fact trouble with concentration, focus or organization is the underlying issue.”
If you are looking for the best technique to improve memory and become a memory champion then you must read my article on The mind Palace Technique which is often used by memory champions.
How you improve your memory so you can retain information more efficiently?
The key to improve your memory is how well you put the information in your memory in the first place. Only when you put the information properly you can then retrieve it.
5 easy tips on how to properly learn an information are:
- Underline/highlight the information
- Make note inform of mind-maps
- Revise after regular intervals
- Use as many senses as possible to make more connections.
- Have 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night. It’s when you sleep, that the information get stored in your long term memory.
Sleep Quality is also important thus make sure that you turn off all the gadgets that emits blue light at least 1 hour before sleep. Make sure to use blue light filters.
Is it possible to increase memory power?
Yes, its absolutely possible to increase memory power. After extensive research on neuroplasticity of brain, scientists have discovered that our memory capacity isn’t fixed, but rather malleable like plastic. And the best way to improve the memory capacity is by learning new skill at regular basic. Meditation is another time tested way to improve memory power and concentration.
Reference: Baird, and J. W. Schooler. “Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering.” Psychological Science (2013): 776-81 available at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797612459659
Is memory capacity related to concentration?
Yes, memory capacity is related to concentration. If you have a high working memory capacity, then you will have no problem ignoring distractions and staying focused on the task at hand. Similarly, if you have developed the habit to stay focussed for a longer period by voluntarily avoiding distraction, then also you will develop better memory capacity. So, memory capacity and concentration are inter-related.
Is there a limit to how much we can improve memory and processing speed?
No, there is no limit to how much we can improve memory and processing speed. Memory improvement depends primarily on the good food habits and learning techniques to aids our remembering. Our human brain has an astonishing ability to adapt and change even at any age due to its inherent ability called neuroplasticity. Thus, by proper stimuli our brain can form new neural pathways, or alter existing ones and hence adapt and improve both the memory and processing speed.
What Are The Easy Ways To Improve Memory Power and Concentration?
These are the top 15 Easy Ways To Improve Memory Power and Concentration
1. START GARDENING or HAVE PLANT AT WORK
It has been proved scientifically that gardening lowers the risk of dementia. So to improve your overall mental health, start to love nature. Multiple studies have shown that having plants at office or your workplace will increase the productivity by 15 percent. The presence of greenery increased workplace satisfaction, perceived air quality, and higher levels of concentration. All of which is good for memory retention.
2. EAT DARK CHOCOLATE
Ever have the craving for chocolates, start eating the dark chocolates. It must have more than 70% cacao and see the magic. It will not only improve your mood but also will make you smart.
3. HAVE WELL-BALANCED DIET
Along with dark chocolate, proper diet is also important. A well-balanced diet will have all the vitamins and minerals needed for proper functions of our body and brain and will eventually help to remember more.
Add more greens and fruits in your diet as they are rich with antioxidants which will boost your brain power.
Note:Sugar and fat has been linked to impaired memory. A recent study in humans found that a diet high in fats and sugars common in a Western diet impairs hippocampal memory. However, the study relied on questionnaires and surveys, which may not be as accurate.
4. SLEEP AS MUCH YOUR BODY NEEDS
Sleep is very important. An adult needs at least 6 hours of proper sleep. Some may needs more, some less. You must start to listen to your body. Sleep deprivation is one of the most common reason for forgetfulness.
The blue light emitted by cell phone, TV, and computer screens inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). So, turn on the Blue light filter at night.Avoid all screens like TV, Laptop or mobile/tablets for at least an hour before bed.
5. DAILY MEDITATION IS MUST
Calming the mind is the secret of better concentration which is the secret for better memory. So get your yoga mat and start your meditation. If you are a beginner, start with 5 min and then with time increase it to an hour. Remember, Consistency is the key to success.
Numerous clinical studies have also proved this fact without doubt that meditation on regular basis helps to improve memory and concentration.
Along with meditation, Yoga also has positive impact on our overall well-being including keeping our energy level high and our brain alert. Out of all the yoga types, Hatha yoga and mindful meditation for 30 minutes per day will boost the brain associated with goal-directed behavior and help you to focus more easily.
Note:One study from 2012 found that a mere 20 minutes of yoga significantly improved participants’ speed and accuracy on memory tests. Participants performed fantastic on the tests after yoga compared to aerobic exercise. The study, however, was limited by its narrow sample size of just 30 young, female students.
6. REDUCE STRESS.
Stress is bad. It’s bad for your overall heath as well as for memory. A stressed your body releases cortisol which is a stress hormone. It hampers your normal brains memory process. So keep your mind calm by providing it with proper sleep and meditation.
Too much caffeine is bad, it destroys memory and concentration over time. So, count your cups before your drink one more.
If your genuinely want to remember information for a longer period of time than you have to actively try to retrieve the information. Mere repetition is useless method of its own. Active retrieval of information helps to make the information become more meaningful and in turn make it settle for long term.
Note:When you’re stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to greatly impair the brain’s memory process, especially our ability to retrieve long-term memories. Stress and depression have even been shown in animal studies to shrink the brain.
7. DRINK ADEQUATE WATER DAILY
The Easiest way to improve your memory is by keeping your body hydrated. Majority portion of our brain is water. It acts as a shock absorber for both brain and spinal cord. Our brain cells can use nutrients because of it. So lack of water in body will cause brain shrinkage as well as memory impairment.
Everyone has their own better way of learning. Some can learn better by listening, some by watching, some by touch and so on. But research has proved that its better you use all our senses while learning something. This way you will have better chance of remembering.
Please, don’t indulge into coffee or other caffeinated drinks including so-called energy drinks to keep yourself awake and energized. They have bad influence on your body and mind.
Note:Your brain is made mostly of water. Water acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord. It helps our brain cells use nutrients. So just a small amount of dehydration can have disastrous effects. Mild dehydration has been shown to cause brain shrinkage and memory impairment.
8. READ BOOKS.
Read books. I cannot highlight the importance of reading books any further. They will not only make your knowledge grow but will help your practice the skill of visualizing the information. It’s when you can visualize something, you can remember better. Reading books also improve concentration and help calm the monkey mind.
9. USE THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE.
Pomodoro is a management technique that optimizes work time and increases efficiency.
Pomodoro Technique is working on a project or activity for a fixed period and then taking a break. As per research, the optimum time for the beginners is found to be 25-min work and then a 5-min short break. This “25-min+5-min set” has to be performed 4 times before taking a long break of 15min.
But this time duration depends on the type of work you are doing and the person’s present ability to concentrate.
Read Later: To understand “How to Use The Pomodoro Technique to Optimize Productivity?”, you can read by article on this topic: https://themindpedia.com/pomodoro-technique-guide-for-productivity/
10. DAILY EXERCISE IS MUST.
Regular Exercise is important. You may have heard it as many times as you have searched for any tips for self-improvement. And it’s a fact. Research have found that people who take physical exercise before memory test have better attention span that those who didn’t.
One possible explanation to this fact is that it takes discipline to push oneself through the pain of a workout, and this same will power is used to ignore the tendency of distraction. So, physical exercise helps in increasing our will power.
Although aerobic exercise is recommended by most memory experts, but you can do whatever you want in the beginning. It’s always better to do something than nothing.
There are two advantages of exercise.
- Exercise releases a chemical called “norepinephrine” that helps on how the memory are created and recalled.
- Exercise increases the physical size of the brain and keeps it healthy by providing blood and oxygen.
These exercises along with meditation will also help you cope with depression, anxiety, diabetes and high blood pressure.
11. MINIMIZE EXTERNAL DISTRACTION.
Try to minimize external distractions as much as possible to help your will power work for you and keep your concentration high. If possible while trying to learn something new and important, turn the TV, mobile notification and other distractions OFF.
Researchers from Stanford Medicine discovered that music specifically targets the areas of the mind that focus on memory retention and concentration.Thus listening to music will help you remember better and focus more on the task at hand.
According to research, using nature sounds or white noise to mask background sounds could help improve concentration and memory retention power.Classical music, particularly baroque classical music or nature sounds are good choices to help increase your focus. As focus increases, so thus concentration and memory.
12. NO SOCIAL MEDIA.
Try to stay away from social media during working hours. Research have found that using social media during working hours adversely affects work performance and concentration. It will make your attention span low and make you dependent on instant gratification. Thus add to poor memory retention because if you don’t pay attention to details you will not remember them.
13. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS.
Though notifications are short, they tend to trigger task-irrelevant thoughts or mind wandering emotions that damages task performance. We loose concentration for the task at hand and thus tend to forget it. The worst part is that it takes 25 minutes, on average, to get back to the task we were working on before the interruption. So, to have better memory and concentration it’s wise to avoid distractions in the form of phone’s notification.
14. LEARN MEMORY TECHNIQUES.
You have to learn various memory techniques like The Loci Technique, Mnemonics, Mind Maps, The Storytelling Technique, Memory Palace etc. These techniques along with lifestyle chance will do wonders on your ability to concentrate better and keep the information in the long term memory.
15. PLAY BRAIN GAMES.
There is no harm in playing the brain games. These mental exercise will keep your memory healthy. They may not help drastically, but regular practice in such games will definitely increase attention span and train your brain to process information faster and eventually help you improve the feeling of memory loss.
But you must understand that they will not help you remember information for test. For such information, spaced repetition is the key to success.
Along with these easy tips you should also keep your brain active by playing games like Sudoku, Jigsaw Puzzles and crossword puzzles. Juggling balls is another great way to improve concentration and ultimately memory.
The effects of brain training games may be particularly important for older adults, since memory and concentration often tend to decline with age. But with regular practice and healthy lifestyle age-related memory loss can be minimized and you can have an awesome memory at any age.
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Which foods increase memory power?
There are many brain foods like Fatty Fish having Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Blueberries, Broccoli, Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Nuts and seeds specially, Eggs, Whole Grains and Avocados that can help you increase Brain power and concentration. Along with them taking vitamins B, C, or E, beta-carotene, or magnesium may improve brain function if a person has a deficiency in any of them.
How can meditation improve your memory?
Meditation helps in increasing the thickness of the cerebral cortex and thus encourages more connections between brain cells which ultimately aids to increase mental sharpness and memory ability.
How To Meditate For Concentration And Focus?
It’s better to watch and learn how to meditate for concentration and focus from an expert in this field, rather than me explaining it in words. Just watch this video by Satguru.