It’s often very frustrating when a memory slips the mind. Luckily, there are several easy and fun activities that help people to improve memory retention. Many of these activities also help in other areas of life, including cognition, and self-satisfaction.
Here are just a few activities that help boost memory.
Lots of people think meditating is like watching paint dry. However, with repetition, it can become a very rewarding and rejuvenating practice that keeps the mind fresh. It’s best to try guided meditations before launching into silent meditation because the speaker helps keep listeners on track as they go on their journey.
It’s best to start with small sessions, both for the mind and body to adjust to meditating. In terms of the body, experts suggest that the best pose to meditate in is laying down. For those with back problems, it’s best to rest the lower legs on a chair to ease tension.
With practice, meditating allows people to gain a fresh, stress-free perspective. When people are less stressed, they are able to think clearly and remember more information with a clear mind.
Mental games are another way to keep the mind sharp. In fact, they also go hand in hand with meditation.
In ancient China, for example, meditative texts such as the I Ching blended gaming with meditation. First, readers have to ask a question they would like an answer to. Then, they must throw sticks on the ground and arrange them in different patterns. As they put the pieces in place, readers are able to come to conclusions about their answers.
Of course, things have changed a bit since ancient China, but mental games such as chess, bridge, Scrabble, and jigsaw puzzles still have that meditative quality that promotes excellent brain health. That’s because these games require deep focusing, concentration, and strategy, which, like physical exercise, keeps the mind in shape.
Learning a New Skill
Whether it’s a musical instrument, taking care of plants, an art form, a foreign language, or a sport, learning stimulates the brain. Many of these skills also require learning different dexterity and coordination skills, which activates the brain’s ability to remember and apply those skills in the future.
It’s important not to get overwhelmed by all the new information, which is normal at first. A useful tool that helps put learning in perspective is the Pareto Principle, which has been applied to language learning but can also be used for learning new skills in general. It means that 20% of what people learn translates to 80% of their learning growth. The philosophy behind the idea is to learn a little bit of information, perhaps two new verbs, two new nouns, and one new adjective for a week. Due to the fact that it’s bite-sized pieces of information, it’s easier for students to remember and apply their new skills, rather than getting overwhelmed and giving up.
Knowing one’s limits and what they’re able to learn is a key part of memory retention. Breaking lessons down into pieces makes the learning process much more exciting and most of all, memorable.
Like learning, a lot of people think they have to do an extreme amount of it to be any good at it. However, that is not the case! The Pareto Principle can also be applied here, taking small steps towards a realistic goal.
Exercising is also incredibly accessible. No gym memberships or trainers are necessary to get the endorphins flowing. Even a walk or some gentle stretches can change the way people feel refreshed. That’s because it activates memory retention and coordination.
It’s also important to remember that exercising is about making people feel good, not making them look good. When the focus shifts from self-image to mental health and happiness, exercising becomes a lot more pleasant.
Wrapping Things Up
There are many exercises that boost memory, whether they focus on the mind, body, or both. Thankfully, they are all accessible and easy to fit into a busy schedule. It’s also an opportunity to take a little bit of time for one’s self.