We all may fail to remember things on certain occasions. Slight loss of memory and forgetfulness are part of our lives. However, such issues can be overcome by resorting to a few tricks. Let us examine 10 of these simple methods.
1) Chunking to recall numbers
There is a shortcut to remember long numbers. This mnemonic method is called chunking. Normally, we can recall only 5-9 facts in our short-term memory. Suppose a friend gives us his 10-digit mobile number 9495201616, we may not be able to store it in our memory immediately. However, if we separate the number into several chunks like 9495 - 20 - 1616, it will be very easy to remember. This is an example of chunking.
2) The 10-second left fist method
You can remember any fact that was forgotten by resorting to this trick. Hold the left fist clenched. Try to recall what has faded from your memory while tightening your fist. Loosen your hand at intervals. Repeat this method 10-15 times. You will be surprised to notice that what you had forgotten is becoming clear in your mind. When you put in an effort to recall something it is the right side of the brain that works more. The right side of the brain is stimulated when pressure is exerted on the left fist. Scientific studies have proved that memory improves by 15 % when this method is used.
Most people forget things because they don’t give proper attention to what is in front of them. A mental exercise can solve this problem. Look for a few moments at a picture that you had never seen before. Then set it aside. Take a blank sheet of paper and try to note down the things you noticed in the picture from memory. Afterwards, compare the photo and the notes. Repeat this exercise for a week. It has been found that you will recall more items in the picture every day. In other words, your memory power has increased.
4) 30-second eye-exercise
Scientific studies indicate that this exercise with eyes can help boost memory. It is also beneficial for the health of the eyes. This is how it is done. Move your eyes from one corner to the other. This process can be done for 30 seconds every day. The movement of the eyes between the two corners enables more efficient communication among the two halves of the brain. This helps recall many things.
5) Remembering names
We often fail to recall names of people we meet for the first time. The following method can help us retain the names. It involves ‘reading’ the name of the person on his or her forehead.
When you are introduced to the person, imagine that his or her name is inscribed on that person’s forehead. Think about that picture several times. When you meet that person again but cannot recall his or her name, look at the forehead. Then the name would appear in your mind.
6) Flash card technique
Facts and figures related to studies can be memorized easily by using flash cards. The cards, in the size of post cards, can be filled with tough questions and their answers, formulae etc. The questions can be written on one side of the card and answers on the other. On the first day, study both the questions and the answers. The next day, read the questions only and try to remember the answers. Then compare your answers with those on the flash card. This method can be used regularly to achieve good results.
7) Chewing gum
Chewing gum has been found to improve the time you can concentrate. This applies mostly when you study for more than 30 minutes. The brain is stimulated when you chew something. This increases the concentration. Studies have shown that this method is most effective to boost memories related to sound and vision.
8) The smell technique
According to scientists, certain scents improve memory. They found that memories come alive when people smell items like camphor basil, holy basil, mint leaves, rosemary and so on.
The essential oils used in aroma therapy also have this advantage. Scientists say that enjoying the scent of camphor, basil in the morning stimulates memories all day long. When you fail to recall things owing to fatigue, the scent of basil is the ideal remedy. Meanwhile, smelling mint leaves increases concentration as well as memory.
9) Exercise regimen
One of the chief advantages of physical exercise is the boosting of memory. Several studies have proved that regular exercise improves memory and reduces the chances of dementia. Students often find it difficult to recall lessons that they learnt. This condition can be changed by engaging in any physical exercise. If you can’t remember a particular lesson, do a workout and try to remember it. The task can be jogging at the same spot or even stretching. Incidentally, things you remember after an exercise session remains in your mind for a longer period.
10) Be mindful
Multitasking is the trend of the modern world. It involves engaging in several tasks at the same time. However, it has been found that multitasking is one of the biggest causes of forgetfulness. Studies have shown that an item registers in one’s memory if the mind spends at least eight seconds on it. We can remember only those things that are recorded in memory. When many tasks are taken up simultaneously, a person may not be able to spend even this small amount of time on a subject. This makes people forget many things. However, in case a person concentrates on one matter at a time, he or she will never forget it. Mindfulness is the method of giving total attention to a particular item. This also helps people enjoy doing their tasks. The result is that memory improves significantly.
These 10 methods have been found to produce different effects on each individual. So it is important to check which of the tricks will work for a person in improving memory.