Though memory has been studied throughout history, it is not understood very well. Most people agree that short-term and long-term memory work differently but some researchers believe all memory processes are basically the same. However, injuries and illnesses usually affect only one or the other. Further study may clear up some mysteries of the human brain.
One thing that has been proven to help maintain your memory and brain function over time, is socialization. Having a strong social group and lots of interaction and conversation with family and friends will help to keep your memory flowing freely both now and as you age too.
One of the best ways to store new information in memory is to relate it to something else that you are already familiar with. Creating a logical link between the new information and something else that you already know will increase your chances of being able to successfully recall that information later. The link you create functions as a trigger to recall the new information.
It’s a well known fact that stress is hard on a person’s body, but it is also very hard on a person’s memory. Chronic stress is detrimental to brain cells as it destroys them as well as the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that retrieves old memories as well as makes new ones. Practicing stress reducing techniques are vital in maintaining a good memory.
If you need to remember a complicated piece of information, use the mnemonics technique. This is a way of associating the information with something that is common and familiar. When you make that association, you can think of the common item, and it will trigger your memory of the more complicated piece of information.
Build consistent study times into your schedule. To build your long-term memory, you need to fight the urge to cram. Cramming information will place it in your short-term memory, and it will easily fall to the wayside once the information is used. To really commit something to your memory, develop daily sessions where you study it with real focus. Keep it consistent, and you will soon find the information is with you for the long haul!
Relate the new information to something you know already. Creating these ties can greatly boost your new intelligence being committed to your own long-term memory. Memory thrives on this process of relating a new bit of knowledge to one already secured.
Make your memorization easier by using mnemonic devices. The easiest one is to associate a visual image with the word or name you need to remember. Life like, vivid images linked to hard to memorize or understand concepts can help to speed up the learning process significantly. Think of images from your everyday life to make the process easier and faster.
It’s interesting to note that the sensation known as deja vu is widely believed to be caused by the brain sending an event directly to long-term memory. Trauma to the head often erases long-term memory while sparing short-term memory. On the other hand, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease do just the opposite.