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Improve Your Memory in 10 Steps

Improve Memory

Poor short term memory is a common problem.  Usually there are very simple reasons for this.  For example, have you ever forgotten the name of someone you have only just been introduced to? For most people, it is a matter of being distracted at the time the name is given (how attractive they are, or not, what they are wearing, or worrying about what on earth you are going to talk about).

Or perhaps you have an important presentation or exam to prepare for and, no matter how often you read through the material, you can’t seem to remember even the most basic facts?  Your mind is probably focused on the worry of the presentation or exam rather than just allowing your brain to assimilate the information.  Your brain actually absorbs far more than you think.  It stores everything away without your conscious awareness.  For example, have you ever said something out loud and surprised yourself that you knew it?  That’s because your brain stored it for you from an experience in the past and just delivered it to you when you needed it.  No conscious effort involved.  Your mind can be very accommodating!  All you need to do is relax and let it happen.

As powerful as your brain is, it can be challenged from time to time.  The following are my top ten tips for improving your memory:

  1. Focus on what you need to remember.  If you want to remember someone’s name on meeting them, focus on their name, not the size of their nose!
  2. Stay clutter-free.  A cluttered environment can cause a cluttered mind and makes it far more difficult to remember the things you want to.
  3. Using mind maps can be very helpful as our brains can often remember images more easily than text.
  4. Keep your brain active – ie do puzzles, play chess, and read material outside of your normal range.  Learn a language or another new skill.  Use it or lose it.
  5. Exercise regularly and enjoy a good night’s sleep.  Exercise oxygenates the brain while sleep helps your mind to absorb the learnings from the day and to re-energise itself so that you can focus more easily the next day.
  6. The most important nutrient for the brain are essential fatty acids, especially omega 3s.  These are found in foods such as salmon and other oily fish, walnuts or eggs.  Or you can take a good quality supplement.
  7. Make sure you are getting plenty of B vitamins which are essential for brain function and nerve health.  Because our ability to absorb these lessen as we age, they become more important as we grow older.
  8. Vitamins C and E are also important to ensure that our brains get enough circulation.  For a good vitamin and mineral complex with very good levels of the B vitamins as well as C and E, try Family Formula.  It also contains zinc which is important for heavy metal detoxification (heavy metals can impair brain function).
  9. Some people find that some foods cause “foggy brain”:  especially wheat and refined sugars (including alcohol).  You might try to eliminate these to see the difference.  Do remember to replace the wheat with healthy, complex carbohydrates since these are important for health.
  10. Manage your stress levels.  Stress increases the need for nutrients so that even if you eat healthily, you may not be having sufficient to meet your body’s needs during stressful times.  Learning self-hypnosis can be a great way of managing your stress.

OK, I said 10.  But there’s another really cool way to help improve your memory that I wanted to give you, so let’s call it my bonus tip.  That is the use of laughter.  Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, says that “laughter… seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”  This is like oiling the wheels of your mind.  “How much fun can memory improvement be?”, I hear you ask.  Start by not taking yourself so seriously – this a sign of rigid thinking.  Rigid thinking and memory are not good friends.  I heard a recent quote I really enjoyed “life is for too important to take it seriously”.

There are other techniques and dietary advice which could help you.  Do call 0845 130 0854 if you would like to know more.

© Tricia Woolfrey 2012

Tricia Woolfrey is an integrative therapist, an advanced clinical hypnotherapist, master practitioner in NLP, nutritionist and author, and utilises bioenergetics to help you be the best you can be.  She has practices in Surrey and Harley Street, London.  She can be reached on 0845 130 0854 www.pw-hypnotherapy.co.uk.