PSLE, O levels and A levels are drawing near…
At this time of the year, Singaporean students will be busting their brains trying to ‘chiong’ as much as possible, spamming home tuition and memorizing a ton of (not-so-useful in the future) information such as complex mathematical formulas.
Seriously, we really don’t need to know that Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on dated 28 January 1819 or that the Maria Hertogh riots began on 11 December 1950!
Obviously, MOE thinks otherwise…
Nevertheless, in order to score well in examinations, there is no doubt that we need a strong, healthy brain and good memory so that we can recall information well in our exams.
In this article we’ll show you five easy ways you can enhance your memory and recall information with lightning speed.
Are you ready to learn these secrets? Let’s dive in!
1. Food For Brain
Believe it or not, the food you consume has a huge impact on your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory. By eating the correct types of food you can help your brain form new neurons to replace the old ones in a process known as neurogenesis!
The good news is that the hippocampus is one of the only parts of the brain that can continue to generate new cells well into old age, if given the right ingredients to do so.
So what do we need to eat and what do we need to avoid so that we can help our brains kick-start this process?
The best thing you can do is cut back on sugar and junk carbohydrates like white bread and soda. Feed your brain with super easy food hacks such as omega-3 fatty acids derived from foods like fish and coconut oil instead. You’ll notice you have a clearer mind, an enhanced memory and an overall brightening of your mood within a short space of time.
Exercise is probably the best thing you can do for the overall health of your brain. When you exercise intensely, you increase blood flow to the brain and cause it to release feel good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. These neurochemicals have been shown to have a positive impact on many parts of the brain such as those responsible for mood, sleep, appetite and of course memory!
Studies have shown that cardiovascular or aerobic exercise such as running and cycling have the overall greatest effect on memory. Those who ran, skipped, cycled and engaged in fast paced calisthenics reported the greatest results.
Exercising regularly could be the thing which helps you boost your grades from a B to an A or from an A to an A+. Combined with the health benefits exercise is known to offer like a longer life, stress reduction and greater fitness, a higher grade is yet another reason to go for a run or hop on your bike for a cycle.
In case you were wondering why the guy goes to gym 5 times a week can still top the class, now you know!
3. Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic devices are psychological tricks which can help you recall complex information by simplifying it into an easy to remember format. Don’t be put off by the fancy name because they aren’t anywhere near as complex as they sound!
For example – If you had to remember that Rosa Parks died on October 24th 2005 for your history exam you could create an image whereby a woman was sitting on a park bench surrounded by 24 roses, with a golden plaque on the bench which says October 2005.
This is a simple, easy to remember image which contains all of the information you need to remember.
However, visual images are not the only mnemonic devices available. You can also use rhymes, chunking, acronyms and even the acoustic methods like creating a sentence in which the first letter of each word represents something you need to remember.
Do you currently make use of these mnemonic devices? You probably have your own versions of these without realizing it. Think of how you memorize things and how you later recall them and consider how you could enhance or improve those processes using mnemonics.
4. NLP Techniques
NLP is a fascinating subject which stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
While it sounds fancy and intimidating, at the core NLP is simply a set of cognitive tools. They are designed to help you learn more about yourself and how you learn, store information, recall it, and many other facets of your individual mind and then allow you to build on that.
Through years of refinement NLP practitioners have come up with a set of tools which then allow you to enhance your cognitive skills. These skills include your memory.
A full post of NLP techniques would be too long for this article. However, for a quick glimpse consider that NLP has discovered one of the keys to enhanced memory is gaining an understanding of how you sort and store information.
NLP practitioners discovered that some people sort information along a timeline, some associate information with people they know, some based on emotional triggers or feelings while yet others associate information with places or in a visual map in their minds.
You can use NLP to discover many things about yourself and how you learn. You can then build on this information and take your memory and recall skills to the next level over the long run.
Such a powerful toolkit may be worth checking out! Don’t you agree?
Munishri Ajitchandra Sagarji is a Jain monk in India who has become famous in recent times for his ability to memorize hundreds of random articles and recall them without failure.
So what is his secret? Simple meditation is the key according to the memory maestro himself!
Mr. Munishri claims that meditating for several hours per day has left him with the superhero like memory he has today. While most of us can’t spare hours per day to sit in silence and meditate since we are busy with school, we could probably find some time to do it if we really wanted.
Meditation is very simple. You simply find a quiet space, cross your legs and sit on a cushion, relax and focus on your breathing. The idea is to let go of all distracting thoughts. Every time your mind wanders bring it back to focusing on breathing in and out.
You may wonder what the point of doing such a thing is and think you have better things to do with your time like get out your books and study some more. Then again, when is the last time you were able to recall hundreds of random items in sequence without fail?
Clearly meditation has its benefits. Since this article is about enhance your memory it makes sense to listen to the advice of a man who has mastered it to a level most of us could only dream.
How much better could your grades and exam scores be if you could enhance your memory to even half of his level?
Maybe you ought to give meditation a try! (Unless you can memorize how to spell Mr. Munishri’s full name within one hour of reading this.)
There is no doubt that enhanced memory and recall can help us in whatever we are doing.
From studying a second language, memorizing the rules of math to remembering the ten tasks our teacher asked us to complete verbally, enhanced memory skills can help us get ahead in our studies, our future careers and in many other fields.
Use these five tools as a start and you will begin to see a marked difference and improvement in your memory and mental clarity within a matter of weeks. Happy memorizing!