A few days ago, I got angry as I was trying to cook a recipe that I had learned on one of my trips. As I went to prepare it, I realized that I had forgotten some of the ingredients. My memory, or maybe my concentration – I had a few pretty stressful days – had failed me.
Little things like this can happen to us pretty often due to the stressful conditions that we’re subjected to daily. This is why exercising your memory and improving your concentration is an important part of developing yourself each day.
In this article we’ll give you some advice for improving and maximizing these mental processes.
Tips to improve memory
Memory is a basic mental process that we use to organize ourselves and remember important experiences and events. But it’s also one of the processes that we should pay the most attention to, because it’s affected by the passage of time. In fact, the older we get, the more our memory needs a little help in order to function properly. Below we provide some advice for enhancing and training your memory:
- Get enough sleep and rest. We often think we can sleep less than we need to, and if we do, our brains will still function at 100%. But this isn’t actually true. It’s recommended that you sleep at least 7 hours each night in order for you brain to process information properly and improve your long-term memory.
- Exercise. According to studies done by the University of Pittsburgh, playing sports releases tension and can improve spatial memory.
- Eat chocolate, which is both a treat and an ally of memory and learning. According to the journal Very Interesting, a component of cocoa favors cognitive functioning, based on a study from 2013.
- Associate concepts with images. More than just advice, this is a key exercise that you should practice daily, especially if you’re at an age where you’re taking a lot of exams. When you associate a definition with a concrete image, your memory will retain the information better.
- Take mental photographs. Along the same lines of the previous example, take mental photographs of what you see and what you want to remember. This works for almost any memory that you want to retain. That way, you can go back to it often and view the details of the image.
Tips to improve concentration
Our memory often fails us because our level of concentration was too low. Staying focused is an essential requirement for productivity in virtually any task. To improve your level of concentration and do your job more effectively, here’s some advice:
- Take a walk for no other reason than to walk. When you do this, you’ll free your mind and find time to think about yourself. It’s relaxing to walk around and look at the scenery without any specific aims and forget about your worries for a while. This kind of relaxation will help you gain concentration.
- Write in complicated fonts. This tip is directed more towards people who need to concentrate on something written, as it’s been demonstrated that the font you use to read or study can influence your retention of the content. The more difficult it is for your brain to process the font, the more concentration you will put into it.
- Sit down for a few minutes to ease the burden on you. Just like walking, sitting down for about ten minutes will ease your worries. Most of the time we have so many that they prevent us from concentrating on what’s really important. This exercise is effective for organizing your ideas and releasing stress.
- Prepare what you need for the task at hand and find a suitable location to perform it. You might have so many things to concentrate on at the same time that you can’t concentrate on any one of them. It’s good to focus on just one activity, prepare what you need for it, and find a location that facilitates its execution.
- Set short-term goals. Goals that are too idealistic can be overwhelming, which is why you should set goals that you feel capable of achieving. If you do this, you’ll see your concentration improve as you watch yourself getting closer to your goals.