Remember Better

Are you ready to remember better? Having a better memory can have many positive effects on your life, including boosting your ability to remember names, shopping lists, and new information you’ve learned. Scientists have been studying techniques to help people remember better for ages, but with mental imaging and other advantaged technology, we’re just now starting to truly understand how the memory works so that we can enhance it. If you’re ready to remember better starting today, here are two valuable pieces of information that science has proven are true:

Relax

One study published in the journal Nature showed that memories are likely to be stronger and to last longer when the brain is relaxed during their formation. Interestingly enough, this has to do with the wavelengths that the brain is working on and producing during a relaxed state of mind. When your brain is relaxed, you’re most likely experiencing theta waves, which have long been associated with daydreaming and drowsiness.

Theta waves, it seems, actually help make stronger memories. The study used EEG electrodes to check for neuron activity and brainwave signals when humans were trying to remember. During the trial, subjects were asked to remember a series of 100 photos. Later, they were presented with 50 of the original photos mixed in with 50 new photos, and they were asked which ones were from the old set and how confident they were in their answer.

This study just goes to show that you can remember better when you’re relaxed. If you find that you’re having trouble remembering information, remember better by using relaxation techniques to induce theta wave activity in your brain. You may also find that you remember better in low-pressure situations, which is why it’s often a better idea for students to study information at intervals leading up to a test rather than right before a test, when pressure runs high.

Some relaxation techniques that might help you remember better include:

  • Deep breathing exercises that can calm the mind and nervous system
  • Yoga for stress relief
  • Meditation, particularly meditation that involves a CD with theta waves playing in the background
  • Brainwave entrainment on a regular basis
  • Regular exercise, which can keep overall levels of stress from getting too high

Relaxing when you need to remember better may become one of your favorite memory techniques, and it can, of course, help you in many other areas of life, as well.

Writing it down

You probably know that one of the best ways to remember better is to write something down. But you don’t have to leave yourself notes around the house, necessarily, to remember better. Just the act of writing down a piece of information can help you remember it better.

The main reason this happens is that when you write down information you’re thinking about, reading, or hearing, you’re engaging multiple parts of your brain, which means that your memory is clearer and stronger than if only one portion of your brain was involved in making it. When you take notes during class, for instance, you allow your brain to engage with the information you’re learning on multiple lessons, particularly if you’re already hearing a lesson and watching your book or a slideshow.

So, take these two easy tips to remember better. Before you go to class, do some relaxation exercises to put your brain in the best state for remembering, and then learn to take good notes while you’re in class. It’s a great way to make sure you’re remembering new information as well as possible, and it can seriously cut down on studying time.