Memory allows us to fix, preserve and reproduce any type of memory, such as an image or a thought. For the product of our memorization to be manifested, three steps are necessary: fix the memory, organize or retain it and finally, reproduce it without the need for it to be present. Likewise, memory can be classified into two types: short-term memory and long-term memory. Long-term memory is the most important for a student. In addition, it has been shown that moving from the short to the long term requires time and attention. For this reason, from Choose Career we are going to give you practical advice to improve memory.
How to improve memory in the study
When it comes to studying for a university degree, students are forced to retain a large amount of very disparate information. This large amount of matter is usually joined by the need to retain it in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, memory plays a fundamental role in academic results. Although the key to a good result is effort and dedication, there are many tricks to improve memory that can be useful for any student during exam time.
Get enough rest and sleep
Although it may seem silly, sleeping is one of the processes that can help us the most to improve our memory. A study from the University of Massachusetts revealed the great importance of sleep. Sleeping well helps us to consolidate memories and discard the most unnecessary information for our study. In addition to the fact that sleeping improves our performance and clarity, it improves the quality of our memory.
Relate with others
This is another fact that may surprise many. A study by the Journal of Aging Research confirms, after a 15-year follow-up of its participants, that maintaining greater contact with close friends and a greater social network in general is beneficial for improving memory performance.
Maintain a correct diet
The functioning of our body requires a good diet. Our neurons are no exception and need a balanced diet to perform their function optimally. One of the most important nutrients is phosphorus, which has established itself as one of the great nutrients in relation to memory. Some amino acids such as arginine or fats such as omega 3 are also important. This does not imply that the use of nutritional supplements is essential, since following a balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, would be enough. Diet plays an essential role in our long-term performance.
Myths about caffeine and exciting substances
The consumption of coffee or energy drinks such as Red Bull is a very widespread practice within the student community. There are groups of people for whom caffeine in small doses could be beneficial. However, high doses of caffeine or energy drinks have deleterious effects on our memory. Not to mention more potent substances, such as amphetamines, commonly used among students. All these substances generate ineffective neural connections that can even play tricks on us over time.
It so happens that one of the most desired foods has beneficial substances for our brain. Indeed, chocolate has flavanols, which have a positive effect on brain function, since it has been shown to increase blood flow and carry out actions within the brain areas related to learning and memory.
At the University of Pittsburgh, a study has been carried out that concludes that aerobic exercise increases the size of the anterior hippocampus (brain area related to memory and special orientation). Also during physical exercise endorphins are released, which would be something like our endogenous drugs. These substances have been shown, in a large number of studies around the world, that they improve our performance, attention, concentration and increase our ability to relate concepts in our head.
Some tricks to improve memory
“Self-imagination” is a memory technique that is widely studied by psychologists and has been shown to have positive effects. This technique consists of imagining yourself taking a specific action that is related to the concept you are trying to memorize (for example, if you need to buy tangerines, you would imagine yourself collecting them from a tree). Another also effective method would be to practice “Mental Training”. The magazine PLOS One magazine published the positive results of a study in which its members had to carry out 15 minutes of memory games a day.
Relaxation and stress
Stress is one of the great enemies of our memory. Anxiety and nervous tension are proven to decrease brain performance. This is because they prevent the association of concepts in our head and reduce our ability to concentrate. This is why it is very important to rest, interact with people or take a break when your brain is saturated.
These are our tips to improve memory. Try to put several of them into practice and you will see how you notice the difference. Which ones do you think will best help you increase your memory?