Memory is very interesting. The mechanisms that trigger memories or cause us to remember or learn things are unpredictable and sometimes can’t be explained. Forgetfulness can create problems for us, and some of us go to extravagant measures to try to outsmart our tendency to forget.
Have you ever set an alarm to remind you to do something or posted notes so you don’t forget something? There are many mechanisms we use to remember and memorize, even though they may seem unrelated to what we want to recall.
Oddly enough, small gestures can be very useful to stimulate and enhance memory.
Taking a short nap
Research suggests that taking a quick nap can be very effective in stimulating memory. In one study, participants who took a nap for 45-60 minutes before a memory task showed a significant improvement in performance.
Many studies show that sleep plays an important role in memory. During sleep memories are consolidated and the brain is “cleaned.” Researchers have also found that sleeping right after learning something influences memory.
Moving your eyes from side to side
Moving your eyes from side to side when you want to remember something will help to stimulate memory. Although the reasons are not entirely clear, researchers suggest that horizontal eye movements help activate and link the two hemispheres of the brain.
In one study, researchers found that participants who were moving their eyes from side to side for 30 seconds every morning performed their tasks better by an average of 10%. They also found that these bilateral eye movements reduced false memories in memory tasks by 15%.
Clenching your fists
Clenching your fists can help you get more control over your memory. One study found that people who tightened the fist on their dominant side before learning something and then tightened the other when recalling the memory could be more effective in memorizing.
Although the explanations are not very clear, the researchers suggest that the act of clenching your fist activates areas of the brain involved in memory and recall.
Chewing gum is a little trick that can give your memory an important boost. In one study, researchers found that participants who chewed gum during a memory and attention test scored almost 25% higher than those who did not chew gum.
Although the reason for this phenomenon is unclear, some researchers speculate that chewing gum can increase oxygen levels in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory and attention.
Moreover, another study found that chewing gum just before a test helped participants remember a 25 to 50% more than those who did not chew gum.
Although researchers can not explain the exact reasons for this, they suggest that gum increases blood supply to the brain, which improves mental performance.
Listening to music
Research shows that certain types of music are very useful to recall memories. The information you learn while listening to a song, you can often recover by thinking about the song or “playing” it in your head.
Professor and researcher Antonio Matas Terron, of the University of Malaga, suggests that listening to music helps school performance, although this depends on the pace, style, and music volume. According to Matas Terron, the musical rhythm works to change the sense of time.
Furthermore, it is important not to use music with lyrics, which can be counterproductive for attention. Furthermore, it should be used only in blocks of 20 minutes because attention decreases after this period of time.