by Murdo Macleod
Have you ever imagined the benefits a good memory can bring
Being able to remember important pieces of information -
like names, facts and figures, directions, procedures,
quotations - can give you a powerful advantage in life.
In fact, the ability to retain and retrieve information is
essential to your personal and professional success.
Here are five ways to boost your memory and keep it razor
1. Use Your Imagination
An easy way to remember something is to "take a picture".
For example, to remember where you've left your car keys,
pretend to hold a camera to your eyes, focus on the scene,
and click the image into your memory when you are leaving.
Then, when you want to find your keys again, try to develop
the negative into positive and you'll be able to draw out a
This technique works with almost everything you want to
remember, as the film reel in your mind is endless.
Another trick you can use is to "think like a poet". Make
up rhymes to recall ideas and construct simple-to-remember
acronyms to record key phrases.
Remembering is EASY (Every Acronym Saves You) when you DIY
(Do It Yourself).
Let's say you want to memorize the planets in their order
from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Then just say "My Very Excellent Mom Just Served Us Nice
You can boost your memory with just a little regular
practice. There are lots of ways of doing this:
Try to remember which day of the week your last birthday
was. Then extend this to the birthdays of all your family
Try to remember all the Grand Slam Finalists and who was the
winner. If you can try to remember the scores as well, it
would be an even better exercise.
Try to remember names of all the 50 States and see if you
can do it in alphabetic order too.
It won't be long before your daily practice pays off -
making your mind sharper and more adaptable.
3. Eat Healthy
The best way to protect your memory is to eat plenty of
antioxidants and nutrients commonly found in fruits and
In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition, researchers tested people aged between 65 and 90
and discovered that the people with the best ability to
memorize words were those whose diets included the most
fruits and vegetables.
Coincidentally, the same group of people ate the least
artery-clogging saturated fat. Of all the fruits and
vegetables studied, blueberries and blackberries contain the
most potent antioxidants, anthocyanins.
4. Get Physical
Physical exercise not only boosts memory but also helps you
think faster. A combination of mental and physical
activities can protect your memory and help keep you alert.
The brain's processing speed gradually slows as you age.
Between ages 25 and 55, many people begin to experience
problems coming up with names or numbers. The memory is
there. It just takes people longer to retrieve it.
Staying physically fit can ward off some of the effects of
age on the brain. In real life, that could mean coming up
with a forgotten name more quickly or jumping out of danger
in the face of an oncoming car.
5. Exercise Your Brain
Mental gymnastics are as important as physical ones to
Take up word games like crossword puzzles and acrostics.
Memorize favorite poems, read challenging books or articles
that encourage you to expand your interests.
Practice other-handedness. If you're right- handed, try
brushing your teeth or writing your grocery list with your
Any activity that requires you to think and concentrate --
from keeping a journal or learning a new language to taking
music lessons -- will challenge your brain.
And your brain will thrive on the challenge.