If you’ve ever found yourself forgetting someone’s name, the date of an important event, or where you put your keys, then it may be time to work on improving your memory. Memory recall is necessary for day-to-day functioning; after all, life would be much more difficult if we couldn’t remember anything!
Thankfully there are steps you can take to help improve your memory recall. For example, try writing down everything that comes to mind about a particular topic (it doesn’t matter what it is). If that seems too much work or not enough fun for you right now, consider trying some brain exercises like word puzzles or crossword puzzles to boost your mind power! The following are some ways how to improve memory recall.
- How to Improve Memory Recall
- 1. Keep a journal to track your progress
- 2. Practice memorizing things in small chunks
- 3. Take notes during lectures and meetings
- 4. Create mnemonics or mental images that are easy to recall
- 5. Have someone quiz you on what you’re trying to learn
- 6. Use visualization techniques like imagining yourself walking through a maze with different paths that lead back into the center of the maze (also called “The Memory Palace”)
- 7. Practice using the information (i.e., use it in conversation or write about it)
- 8. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages
- 9. Get a good night’s sleep at night
- 10. Exercise on a regular basis to improve memory recall and overall brain health
- 11. Embrace what you learn; repetition is key
- 12. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
- 13. Finally, try using different senses to recall information
How to Improve Memory Recall
1. Keep a journal to track your progress
Waking up and writing down what you’re grateful for is a great way to start the day, but it does more than feel good. Taking time at the end of your day to write your accomplishments can help you remember everything that went well – and if there are any areas you want to improve on, this process will make you more aware of them.
If you’re having trouble recalling the name of a particular restaurant or band, and it’s not immediately available to your memory, don’t simply shrug and move on. Instead, give yourself some time to think about it – whatever amount feels natural. Then, if you still can’t remember after a minute or two, look it up online. Or if you don’t mind asking for help, ask a friend.
2. Practice memorizing things in small chunks
This is because the brain can only hold so much information at one time. The more you practice, however, the more this limit will drop.
Try to visualize yourself doing something. For example, when you’re stuck on a problem or can’t remember something, try imagining it happening in your head – with as many details as possible. This works for many people and can help unlock your memories.
3. Take notes during lectures and meetings
Break down information you want to remember into smaller chunks and practice recalling it. For example, if your new boss tells your team about the company’s history, ask her for a few details of each decade; then, go home and try to write them all out (without looking at any notes).
4. Create mnemonics or mental images that are easy to recall
For example, “I before E except after C” is a mnemonic device that people often use to remember how to spell words like “believe.” It works because the first letter of each word in the system (B-I-E-E-V – i.e., note “C”) is correlated with another letter.
5. Have someone quiz you on what you’re trying to learn
If you’re trying to learn a particular piece of information for a test, ask a friend or family member to quiz you on it for five minutes every day. This helps strengthen the memory pathways in your brain by challenging them.
6. Use visualization techniques like imagining yourself walking through a maze with different paths that lead back into the center of the maze (also called “The Memory Palace”)
The first time you visualize the maze, it may take some mental effort, but after doing this for a few weeks (or even months), your mind will develop more pathways to help recall the information. This is because memory recall works like muscles; they can become weaker if you don’t use them.
7. Practice using the information (i.e., use it in conversation or write about it)
This is much easier when reviewing the information because then your brain will be prepared to use it. Also, review and practice as time goes on (even if you feel like you’ve already mastered the material). Your memory recall will improve over time by doing this.
Make a list of 20 or 30 things that start with different letters of the alphabet in a notebook or on a piece of paper.
For example, you might write, “A is for apple.” Then, when you’re trying to remember something that starts with the letter A, look at your list. Your brain will be more likely to recall meaningful information than abstract lists.
Practice reciting the list of items repeatedly, until you know them off by heart. Then, go back to the beginning of the list and start reciting it backward.
When recalling information that has been learned, practice recalling it forward before trying to remember the information in reverse order
8. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages
Furthermore, both can affect your ability to access memories and make it more difficult for you to recall information later.
9. Get a good night’s sleep at night
Sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on memory recall. If you’re sleep-deprived, your brain will function less efficiently, making it more difficult for you to access memories and recall information when needed.
10. Exercise on a regular basis to improve memory recall and overall brain health
Exercise increases blood flow to your brain, providing it with more oxygen. This can help you to recall information faster and easier.
11. Embrace what you learn; repetition is key
If you’re trying to remember something—whether it’s a list of items or the order in which Great Britain was invaded by different countries—try to embrace the information. If this is difficult, try to associate it with something you already know very well.
For example, if you’re trying to remember that Great Britain was invaded by Romans, Danes, Vikings (Normans), and Saxons in that order, then imagine yourself as a high school teacher who’s assigning homework assignments; your students are the Saxons, your spouse is the Danes, your best friend is the Normans, and your mom is the Romans.
12. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day
When you’re dehydrated, you can’t think clearly because your brain doesn’t function properly; this makes it difficult to recall information when necessary.
13. Finally, try using different senses to recall information
For example, if you’re trying to remember what clothes you wore yesterday (i.e., jeans and a t-shirt), picture yourself wearing that outfit as you walk around your house the following day. This will help engage several different points on the brain, improving memory recall overall.
The tips we’ve provided should help you get started on improving your memory recall. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different, and some of these techniques may work better for you than others. So be sure to experiment with different methods until you find what works best for you!
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members if you need assistance in this area; they may be able to provide valuable insights or even act as a study buddy when preparing for an important test.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun while improving your memory recall skills; after all, learning should always be enjoyable!