Did you know that for neuroscientists, the phrase «My memory is too bad» means the same thing as «I’m too lazy to go to the gym, so I’m fat»? And all because memory is something like a muscle that can and should be pumped up. It cannot be bad or good — there can only be lazy or, conversely, hardworking people.
Today we will talk about how to develop your memory at home, give recommendations on how to improve it and give examples of useful exercises.
Let’s start with a little theory. For quite a long time, memory was considered something resembling a large filing cabinet, and the process of weakening it over time was compared to fading ink. Today, this approach has lost its relevance, since it was proved that there is no single part of the brain responsible for remembering information and its reproduction.
The mechanisms of memory are still not fully understood by scientists. The only thing they agree on is that this function of our brain can and should be developed in the same way as all the others. Ancient Greek thinkers dealt with this problem, and many of the exercises they invented have come down to our times after thousands of years.
We bring to your attention the most popular methods of training thought processes, which, with regular exercises, will allow you to repeatedly increase the speed and quality of remembering the data you need.
Puzzles with differences
The easiest and most interesting way, familiar to us since childhood, is puzzles with differences. Here man offers pictures that show almost identical drawings, but with slight differences. For children and adults, tasks may differ — the youngest are given simple images, the number of differences in them usually does not exceed 10, and for adults more complex images are offered with a lot of details and small elements, respectively, and the number of differences also increases.
Poems and songs
From an early age, children are taught to memorize poems and texts. This skill needs to be constantly trained, even if the school curriculum no longer requires you to do such tasks. When a person often memorizes small rhymes or rhyming songs, then over time his memory improves..
Of course, it is much easier to work with some interesting materials, however, students should still pay attention to the information that, one way or another, will be related to the educational process.
Associated with the spelling of words some pretty original exercises.
- The first allows you to pump linear memory. You need to take a piece of paper and write down 10-20 words on it, re-read them several times, first out loud, and then to yourself. After that, you need to turn the paper over and write everything that you remember. Gradually, the task can be complicated and write these words in the order in which they were originally written. An even more difficult version of this exercise is the task of reproducing all the words from memory in alphabetical order.
- The second exercise may also seem like a game: think of words for each letter of the alphabet. This task is especially relevant, because in the process of its implementation, the human brain resumes access to many half-forgotten words. Thus, it activates those connections between nerve cells that, outside the solution of this problem, were in a «sleeping» state.
- This task is reminiscent of the famous game when each player must come up with a word, starting with the letter that ended the word spoken by the previous player. Play with your children for 10-15 minutes a day and you are guaranteed to improve the quality of your memory.
Retelling is a very useful skill that helps to train reading, speech and, of course, memory. Anyone who has trouble remembering it is necessary to give first small paragraphs for reading, after which he must retell them. Gradually, you can move on to large amounts of information.
In general, the retelling of books, stories and texts allows not only to train the process of memorization in the brain, but also makes it possible to learn some new interesting information, to think and reflect on current problems.
A fairly effective technique that can be used from an early age. She aims to to develop short term memory. The task boils down to the fact that a person needs to memorize three simple words of 2-3 syllables, and then reproduce them in reverse order. Gradually, the task can be complicated by increasing the words, then moving on to phrases and even long sentences.
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your RAM, there are some anchor points that you can’t do without getting lost in the complex labyrinth of all the thought processes going on in your head. The activity of the brain is affected not only by the time spent on the exercise, but also by the understanding of the very essence of mnemonics. That is why a significant contribution to improving human memory can be made by exercises, one way or another connected with associative thinking.
As you know, a person can best remember things that are clear to him: in other words, information remains in the head only if the individual is able to realize it. Therefore, associations become a good helper in the memorization process. The principle of the exercises is based on the fact that each new image in human thinking evokes already existing images and, in one way or another, connects some concepts.
Data can be associated by adjacency (for example, winter and cold), by contrast (hot and cold), and some other criteria. As practice shows, memorization is best done if not logical thinking is used, but fantasy.
Let’s explain with an example. It will be much easier for children to memorize numbers if you pick up some kind of association for each of them, for example, write down the numbers on paper, and then think about what they look like.
So, the number zero looks like an egg, and the number 8 looks like a snowman. By the way, this practice will allow you to better remember phone numbers in the future.
Highly it is important to use the method of consensuality, while it is better to connect five senses at once. For example, if you need to remember the phrase «fried potatoes», then here you can bring several associations at once: remember how it looks, what it tastes like, smells, and with what sounds it is fried. If, when receiving new information, you focus on your feelings and sensations, then it will be much easier to perceive this data and remember it. Agree, it is difficult to forget all the information that caused the activity of several anatomical structures of your body at once.
Pay special attention to pictograms — we see such “icons” everywhere in our life: in books, trademark logos, phones. Pictograms are a good way to remember any information.. It is not difficult to complete the exercise: you need to come up with some kind of sentence and try to draw a corresponding icon for each word. For example, the verb «see» can be tried to be depicted in the form of an eye, and the word «inhale» — through the image of a nose and a stream of steam. After you draw a few sentences, you need to try to reproduce the ciphertext.
Another interesting visual association exercise. A person needs to close his eyes and try to remember all the objects that he saw on the way from work to home or to any other point. After that, they must be written down on a piece of paper in order or draw a route.
Such an exercise allows you to develop sequential memory in such a way as to teach a person to remember objects and things in the correct order.
Working with images
Improving memory is impossible without working with pictures and developing vocabulary. Such exercises are developing, aimed at concentration. In the simplest version, you need any image: you should look at it for about 3-5 minutes, after that you need to look away and try to describe this picture. It is advisable to repeat this exercise several times a day, and you can do this while lying in bed, sitting in an armchair or doing household chores.
One more exercise. It is necessary to take several cards with images of different birds and animals, carefully look at them, remember. After that, the illustrations are removed and all the creatures seen are written down on a piece of paper. It is very important to change the pictures regularly — this will improve the quality of the workout.
More difficult exercise. In it, the cards are not pictures, but contain textual data, for example, people’s names and dates associated with certain events in their lives.
- Katya and Zhenya got married on June 15, 1996;
- Masha was born on December 3, 2008;
- Katya graduated from the institute on July 21, 2010;
- the new shopping complex will open on November 21, 2021.
After you read the card, you need to turn it over and try to reproduce from memory everything that was written on it.
This is a very useful gymnastics for the mind — if you resort to exercise regularly, then after a while you will be able to notice that your memory has become much better.
Auditory memory training
Many do exercises to improve visual memory, and completely forget about auditory, which must also be actively developed. Reading books is the best way to do this: read aloud for at least 10-15 minutes every day.. By the way, schoolchildren can use textbooks for this — in this way you can combine homework with memory training.
A rather unusual task can be performed outside the home. For example, on the way to work or just in public transport, quietly listen to the conversations of people sitting next to you and memorize them, and then repeat passages from what you heard. If a person uses his personal transport to move, then you can repeat news and advertising. Please note that the repetition of the data obtained is essential when performing this exercise, otherwise the method simply will not work.
Japanese scientists believe that the best way to «pump» your brain and improve your memory is mental countingbecause it involves the active involvement of processes called short-term or working memory, that is, the one that allows you to keep all the necessary current information in your head.
Probably, everyone has come across such a situation when you came to the store with the intention of buying something, but once inside, you forgot what exactly you needed. This indicates that your short-term memory has failed you. Here are some recommended exercises. The simplest thing is to quickly count backwards, for example, from one hundred to one. You can complicate the task a little more, for example, count down in triplets: 300 … 297 … 294 and so on. This exercise better than any other helps to improve the quality of short-term memory.
Chess is a very useful exercise in logic, which has long been perceived by people as something more than just a game. They involve all possible types of brain activity. This is not surprising, because the player must calculate the moves in advance (both his own and the opponent’s) and, based on these calculations, develop an interaction strategy. The game provides a large number of impressions, and therefore, improves the load on working memory and thereby helps to keep the brain active.
To increase the concentration of attention and strengthen the process of saving the information received, games are used to search for identical images or shapes. To do this, 18–20 paired cards are laid out on the table, they are turned over in turn and they remember where which one is located. Purpose of the game: open the cards in pairs and set aside. By the way, such simulators can be found on the Internet and used for daily brain training, for example, in public transport on the way to work.
Much attention should be paid to memory training in patients after a stroke. This disease disrupts cerebral circulation, affects the lobes and hemispheres of the brain — as a result, neurons die, and this causes a deterioration in the functioning of the organ.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to fully restore memory after a stroke, however, it is quite possible to achieve a significant improvement in the situation.
Work with patients begins with the most elementary exercises.
- The patient is called 1-2 letters, after which they give the text in which he must find them.
- 3-4 any simple objects are placed in front of the patient, he must carefully consider them for several minutes, then remove them, list the names and describe what he saw. Such a task must be gradually complicated and new items added or more detailed ones used.
- Give the patient pictures of children with their names. Each child in the picture should be distinguished by some element of clothing — it can be a blue bow on the head, green shorts or a red dress. The cards should be turned over and the patient should be asked to describe what each child was wearing.
Restoring memory in a person who has had a stroke is a complex, time-consuming and lengthy process, and, of course, exercises alone cannot be enough here — The patient needs medical treatment anyway.. However, regular practice can significantly speed up the rehabilitation process. By the way, these same tasks will be useful when the signs of dementia begin.
In general, we can say that exercises aimed at training memory can significantly improve the quality of human life and optimize brain function. Yoga, physical exercises, gymnastics on the fingers help to improve memory and concentration.. These types of activities improve the blood supply to the brain and allow you to achieve the best possible results of remembering information.
Memory needs to be trained from an early age. — this will allow the child to master the school material much easier. Otherwise, it will be difficult to master a program in which every year you have to memorize more and more new information, and sometimes completely uninteresting.
Particular attention should be paid to memory training for older people. Only active actions and constant mnemonic exercises will allow them to avoid many of the problems that every person who has crossed the 60-year mark faces.