Although there are many factors that affect the way we remember things, including genes, age, diet and exercise, it is possible for each of us to use certain techniques to improve how well we remember things. The ways in which we think about things play a role in how well we will remember them. Aside from doing the small things to boost memory, diet and exercise must also be taken into account. Like anything we do with our bodies, they need proper nutrition and exercise to function at their best. No matter how many memory improving techniques are adoptedm they will never work as well as they could unless the body gets all of the vitamins and minerals it needs as well as the fresh air and movement it requires.
One memory technique is to use vivid stories to associate with the things that need to be remembered. Linking things like lists to imagery and emotion uses both sides of the brain and allows for easier recall over time. This type of memory tool takes time to strengthen and needs to be used consistently to be affective. If a list of items is what needs to be remembered, create a visual story with the items, such as putting the groceries away and then retrace the steps to remember each of the items. For remembering faces and names this trick can also be used. Associate the name of the person with an object and then think of that person doing something with the object, the visual cues should help to link the name and face in the future.
Sleep also plays a role in memory. Recent research has found that sleep helps to consolidate our memories while we doze. For students this tip may prove very helpful. Studying before bed and then allowing that knowledge to sink in without doing any other interfering tasks may allow for better retention.
Memory needs to be used, like every muscle in the human body, to stay sharp. To keep memory functioning at its peak people should try to learn new skills, take different routes when going to work or the store and try things that are outside of their comfort box. Playing games has also been found to help improve memory skills. These can be anything from some video games designed to help the brain function better to doing puzzles and crosswords on a daily basis. While there are many techniques that claim memory improvement the most important thing is to be as healthy and relaxed as possible and to use memory as a daily activity.