Working memory is the ability to process and retain information for short periods of time. If you struggle to remember names, keep track of checklists, or find yourself forgetting passwords and other small details on a regular basis, you might have a weak working memory. This article will introduce you to 5 brain hacks to improve your memory. Working memory isn’t fixed; it can be trained! The more you challenge your working memory in everyday life, the stronger it will become. Read on to discover how to improve your working memory.
5 Brain Hacks to Improve Your Memory
Try a new skill
As you grow older, you hear more and more that you’re “too old” to do this or that. But the truth is that you can learn any new skill at any age. Learning a new skill will not only improve your attention span and working memory, it will also boost your mood and increase your creativity.
If you’re worried about feeling too old to learn a new skill, remember that practice makes perfect, even for adults! With the right mindset, you can learn anything, no matter what your age.
Learning a new skill requires you to pay attention to information you may have never had to process before. This in turn can improve your attention span and working memory.
Use mnemonics to strengthen your memory
Mnemonics are a classic memory trick that can be used to memorize anything from long lists to complex concepts. How do they work? You break down information into smaller, more memorable “chunks,” and then create an “association” to link these chunks together. You can use a rhyme, an image, or anything else you like to create the association.
Let’s say you want to remember the planets in order. You might create the mental image of a “plan”ter “pot”ato growing in a “bag”. The first letter of each word corresponds to the first letter of the planets in order. By using mnemonics, you strengthen your memory and reduce the amount of time you need to memorize the information.
Keep a to-do list
If you struggle with remembering a long to-do list, you probably find yourself constantly forgetting items at the end of the day. To-do lists are a great way of keeping track of daily tasks, but if you forget one item each day, they are ultimately useless. Keeping a to-do list is a classic memory hack that can help boost your short-term memory. To do this, simply write down each item on your to-do list as you think of it, and then review and tick off your completed tasks at the end of the day.
Note that keeping a long to-do list can be counterproductive. You should aim to keep your to-do list to just five items. Any more than this and you’ll probably find yourself forgetting tasks.
Use the Hook-STOP Strategy
If your mind tends to “race” and you find it hard to stop thinking about all the things you have to do, you may have an overactive mind. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can be problematic when you try to focus on one specific task. This is where the Hook-STOP strategy can come in useful. By slowing down your breath and engaging in a simple mindfulness exercise, you can bring your mind to a calm state. The STOP acronym can be used to remember how to do this.
Play brain games
Brain games are designed to challenge your working memory and make you think in new ways. The more you practice these games, the more your brain will strengthen, making it easier to remember information.
The best part? You don’t need to buy any fancy brain training software. There are plenty of free online games that you can play at home or while waiting in line. Head to the App Store, Google Play, or your computer to find a game that is right for you.
It’s important to note that brain games aren’t a quick fix for poor memory. To see real results, you need to play regularly. Aim for at least 15 minutes a day.
Working memory isn’t fixed; it can be trained! The more you challenge your working memory in everyday life, the stronger it will become. Try a new skill, keep a to-do list, use the Hook-STOP strategy, and play brain games to improve your memory. Remember, if you want to improve your memory, you need to challenge it.
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