Start Here: Ready to Get a Better Memory?

Wouldn't it be great to have a better memory? Well, you can!

To remember people's names. To memorize school work. To master information related to your job. To always know where you put your car keys.

You could get better grades, advance your career, and impress everyone with your brain power. Maybe even avoid Alzheimer's disease.

But how? To boost your memory, you need to do two things: 1) improve your brain health; and 2) learn memory techniques. It's amazing how much stronger a person's ability to remember can become if they take this advice to heart.

First, improve your brain health. This will strengthen your natural memory ability. Second, learn memory skills. This strengthens your trained memory.

The good news is that on this website I've explained all the techniques and tricks you need to know to get started.

It Works, But You Have to Make the Effort

Getting a better body means changing your body by forming new and better habits. A better memory is obtained the same way. You need to form habits that help your brain work at its best. And you need to change the way you learn information.

brain diagram

You can't "get" a great memory the same way you can get some better clothes or get a new TV. You can't swap your brain for a better one.

It's like getting a better body. If you want to get stronger you have to exercise.

If you want to get thinner you have to eat better food (and maybe eat less). If you want a strong immune system, you have to take vitamins and eat healthy foods.

Improving your memory requires forming new, life-long habits, and this requires commitment on your part. You must decide whether you are willing to put in the effort to reap the benefits of a superior memory.

You think you want a more powerful memory. But how badly do you want it? Are you motivated enough?

Playing brain games once or twice a month won't improve your memory. Getting a good night's sleep one night out of seven won't give you a better memory, either.

To improve your memory, you have to make these habits part of your regular routine.

Anyone who wants a strong and healthy body must exercise several times a week for many years. If they lose the habit and stop exercising regularly, they will quickly start to get weaker and their muscles will shrink.

Strengthening your natural memory means creating the optimum environment for your brain and adopting powerful new behaviors for remembering. Like anything in life, the results you get depend on the effort you put into it.

Your Memory Improvement Action Plan

TO-DO ACTION: For a more powerful memory, follow the steps in the box below. If you want a better memory, make these daily habits!

1st: BRAIN HEALTH, Improve Your Natural Memory

brain health

The brain responds to the environment you provide. If you eat poorly, don't exercise, and miss out on restful sleep, your brain can't operate at its best. And your memory will suffer.

To improve the health of your brain, follow the steps below. Make changes in your lifestyle so these become habits:

  1. Brain Foods. Eat antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and asparagus, lean protein such as fish, healthy fats including eggs and nuts, and high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. And drink lots of water! It's a winning combination for the brain.

  2. Healthy Body Weight. You might find this surprising, but being overweight is associated with memory loss, learning impairment, brain shrinkage, and even increased risk of dementia. Study after study has demonstrated this. So get your weight under control if you can.

  3. Brain Games. Play brain games for at least 10 minutes every day. Depending on which games you play, this strengthens brain skills including memory, concentration, problem solving, thinking speed, and mental flexibility.

  4. Cardio Exercise. Perform intense cardiovascular exercise several days per week. This stimulates neurogenesis (brain cell growth) in memory areas of the brain including the hippocampus.

    If you sit hours a day at a computer, consider investing in a treadmill desk. It's not intense cardio, but according to research you'll enjoy a boost to memory, attention, and even longevity.

  5. Healthy Diet. What you eat affects your brain power. Too much fast food, soda, and other empty or harmful calories is guaranteed to slow your brain and hurt your memory.

  6. Meditation. Benefits of mindfulness meditation include stress relief as well as better concentration, working memory, self control, and long-term memory.

  7. Memory Loss. Correct any bad habits or medical conditions that might be causing loss of memory. Take steps to protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease and other age-related forms of dementia.

  8. Restful Sleep. Get sufficient restful sleep to consolidate memories and provide mental energy. Modify your sleep schedule as appropriate, and use sleep aids if needed.

  9. Stress Relief. A high level of stress impairs learning, memory, and judgement. Manage your stress, first by understanding how stress affects your brain and your health. Then take steps to relieve the stress in your life.

  10. Vitamins & Supplements. Take memory-boosting vitamins and supplements as needed to provide your brain with extra nutrients that may be missing from your diet.

2nd: MEMORY SKILLS, Use Memory Techniques

memory skills

A healthy brain is like a powerful, well-tuned engine. But driver training is required to operate the car with ultimate skill and precision.

Memory skills are techniques you can use to boost your memory performance to a level you never thought possible. The following are skills you can learn and use for a more powerful memory:

  1. Journal Writing. The habit of keeping a journal can help strengthen your memory of the events in your life, also known as episodic memory.

  2. Memory Systems. For memorization, use the Memory Systems such as the Peg, Journey, Memory Palace, Name-Face, and Phonetic Number methods. These systems involve using the visualization memory technique.

  3. Mental Exercises. Weave memory exercises into your daily routine to strengthen your memory.

  4. Mental Snapshots To improve your episodic memory of events, take a mental snapshot of important scenes and special moments.

  5. Mnemonic Tricks. Use mnemonic devices such as Rhymes and Acronyms as extra memory techniques when convenient.

  6. Speed Reading. Increase your average reading speed, to improve your comprehension and memory of the material.

  7. Study Skills. Use study skills during study sessions to retain more of the material. Examples include Whole/Part Learning, Reducing Interference, and Recitation. (Especially reciting out loud to another person.)

Continually improve your brain health and memory skills listed above, and your memory should grow stronger and stronger over time.

Begin today to improve your life in these areas. Study and learn, then make them into lifelong habits.

The Most Powerful Memory Technique

Stratovolcano

The "memory systems" based on the visualization-association technique are the most effective memory improvement methods I have ever seen. Once I started using these systems, I was shocked by how well they worked. If there is one thing you take away from this website, learn to use the memory systems!!

More than 2,000 years ago, the Roman orator Cicero and other masters of memory were fully aware of the two facets of human memory - the natural memory and the trained memory. From the Rhetorica ad Herennium, published about 90 B.C.:

There are, then, two kinds of memory: one natural, and the other the product of art. The natural memory is that memory which is embedded in our minds... the artificial memory is that memory which is strengthened by a kind of training and system of discipline.

The most powerful memory techniques in use today were known and used by ancient Greeks and Romans and were used widely throughout the Middle Ages. Ironically, most people today are unaware of the memory systems that everyone back then were using.

We seem to have forgotten the techniques that everyone used to know!

At least today we have science to back up the use of these techniques. For example, the Dual Coding Theory of memory has shown us that verbal and non-verbal (image) information is processed through two separate pathways in the brain.

Fortunately, memory experts such as Harry Lorayne and others are helping to popularize these methods once more. If you search through Amazon.com or other online retailers for "improve memory", you'll find numerous how-to memory improvement guides.

Lorayne's twist on memory techniques and terminology were among the first I was exposed to, so I tend to refer to them frequently on this site. I highly recommend his two books Super Memory, Super Student and The Memory Book for their clear explanation of the basic memorization systems.

Compared to the ancients, we do know quite a bit more about improving and protecting natural memory through improved brain health. And the memory techniques, though not widely known or taught, are still available for those willing to take the time to learn them.

Is It Normal to Forget?

forgetting

Our brains were designed to forget. Even the smartest person doesn't remember everything. Forgetting protects the mind from becoming cluttered with trivial details.

Researchers at Stanford University's Memory Laboratory showed that the more subjects forgot competing memories, the less work their cortexes had to do to recall a specific one. So a certain degree of forgetting is completely normal.

So the idea that forgetting is somehow "abnormal" is a myth. In fact, there are several other memory myths that many people assume are true.

But some people (like me) seem to forget too much. Remembering a doctor's appointment or your friend's telephone number isn't clutter. You need to remember those things. One of the main reasons why we forget things is that we have trouble retrieving the items from memory. The information is there, but we can't find it because we are missing the cue.

Fortunately there are ways to create these cues intentionally whenever we want to remember something. That's why I built this website. To help you learn powerful habits and techniques for creating these mental cues and for strengthening your brain power in general.

> Get a Better Memory

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