Would you like to learn the process of building your memory such that you remember things easily and store information well? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Having a good memory is very important for many reasons, especially as we go about our daily activities.
Have there ever being times when you try to remember an event or fact you previously know and find it difficult.
Perhaps someone had asked you to provide that information and you struggled to recall or bring it back to mind.
That is one of the struggles with poor memory, which can either be a result of poor encoding of the information, difficulty in retaining it, or poor recovery of the information.
One or more of these factors are responsible for the challenges we face with recalling information and might be an indication of poor memory.
The good thing with this is that to a large extent, having a poor memory is usually a result of controllable factors.
When this is the case adjustment of certain habits and lifestyle changes can make the difference.
That is why in this post, we will review the major causes of poor memory retention, and how to avoid them.
Some strategies that can be applied to ensure improved memory or build up your memory will also be discussed.
And that is irrespective of your age, learning ability and capacity is.
We begin with an understanding of how human memory works.
Understanding the Human Memory – How to Build Your Memory
Human memory as we all know it is the site of information storage and retention in humans.
This is a part of the human central nervous system and one of the most important components in the human body.
When you learn new things or take in new information, your memory is the place where this is stored and held.
However, that is not the only work or function of the human memory.
The human memory also goes to work when you need to remember and retrieve the information you must have earlier saved on it.
When you struggle to retrieve information from your memory sometimes, the problem therefore might either be with the reception of that information at the first time or the retrieval.
Hence, before it can be said that you have a good memory, you not only need your memory to save information well but also quickly and easily supply you with the information when you need it.
Types of Memory
There are different types of memory and we must touch on each of them briefly so you get a clear understanding of how memory works.
We have short-term memory which is used to retain information temporarily.
Usually, information that you need for a particular period can be stored in this memory, and it wipes off once you decide that it is no longer important to you.
Some of the things we just see passively every day which are only relevant to us for a few seconds might be stored in this memory.
Additionally, there is long-term memory which comparatively can hold information for a longer period.
The information stored in this memory can last for a much longer period like weeks, days, months, years, and sometimes a lifetime.
An example of such information is the names of people we care about or are close to us.
We hardly forget such information even after many years have passed since we took it in.
This memory is equally very essential when we learn new skills and job functions, and hence very important for a business owner to build such memory.
What is Responsible for Poor Memory? – How to Build Your Memory
Realistically, every human has a different memory capacity, power, and retention.
While some might be very effective in their memory storage, retention, and retrieval, others might be less effective.
That means that while we know of people who do not have difficulty remembering things and saving important information, you might be having a struggle doing the same.
Well, as with every limitation needing improvements, there are specific factors responsible for this.
Some of these factors might not be of your doing and have to do with the process of taking in the information.
Other factors on the other hand are purely a result of habits and lifestyles that impede memory retention and learning.
We will look at the factors on both sides, and try to see what could be responsible for your poor memory.
Some of these are:
Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
We will begin with the causes of poor memory that is a result of physical and emotional disorders.
Stress is one of the major causes of poor memory and in some cases, memory loss.
That means if you are fond of working too much and too hard with little or no time for rest, you run the risk of having a poor memory.
Similarly, anxiety about life can also have this same effect.
A more serious disorder that is often an effect of increased stress and anxiety is depression.
And someone who is depressed would also struggle with storing, retaining, and retrieving information.
One notable thing about the human memory is that it only retains what it is you feed it.
When you consciously or unconsciously fail to give your memory something to store or hold on to, it would be futile to try to get anything back from it.
Hence, one of the factors that might make it difficult for you to have a good memory especially a retentive one is difficulty concentrating.
Normally, for the memory to effectively store information and hold it down as relevant, you need to focus during the process of taking in that information.
However, if you lack focus or do not concentrate when that information is being passed, it just might not stick in your memory.
And of course, when you attempt to retrieve it, it would prove to be a difficult task.
This is because there wasn’t enough concentration to hold it down in the first place.
Information Decay Due to Failure to Keep Information Relevant
This is more of a scientific reason for having a poor retentive memory.
The principle is that there is a particular extent to which human memory can retain information.
Hence, after a particular period, the preciously saved information can begin to go off or decay.
Take, for example, how much information about your childhood or growing up do you still remember in adulthood?
While we might recall some of them because we’ve informed our brain of the importance of such information, we might struggle to remember other minor details.
When you do not revisit a piece of information in your memory and bring it back to mind by constant practice, it is only a matter of time before it decays.
Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Another cause of poor memory or a loss of memory is chronic alcoholism and drug abuse.
Do you sometimes wonder why people who get themselves drunk are usually seen as uncoordinated in their thinking and actions?
Or have you noticed that people who abuse drugs or use hard drugs normally behave strangely out of the normal?
The reason is clear, and that is because these habits or lifestyles can affect the brain, and impact behaviors and actions.
Hence, at this state, a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs might either experience temporary loss of memory at that point or even a long-term effect.
Lack of Sufficient Sleep
Having sufficient sleep remains one of the practical measures you can take to improve and build your memory.
That means someone who is in the habit of depriving himself/herself of sleep would struggle with memory retention and eventual retrieval.
You might have been advised to get enough sleep when preparing for an assessment or examination.
Especially where there is a tendency to want to devote much time to studying and having less sleep.
Experts would tell you that while learning is important, you also need to sleep well.
When you do, your brain is sharper and functions better, and it helps you in building your brain memory.
Importance of Building Your Memory – How to Build Your Memory
Whether you are still a student, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a current businessman/woman, a good memory is very important.
If you are a student, for example, you might already know how having a good memory and building your memory benefits you.
You will know how valuable a good memory is when it is time for examinations and you have to remember what you know or have learned.
At such times, a good memory will help you have a sterling performance and drive you towards success.
In other areas and stages of life as well, building your memory is very essential.
Building your memory will help you to bring back to your mind important information and facts when you need them.
This information might sometimes be in form of past experiences whether good or bad.
As a business person, for example, you are faced with decisions daily.
Some of these decisions would make your business while some will mar it.
You surely would appreciate having a good memory to relate present decisions with ones you’ve once made in the past, and hence make the best choices.
Imagine having a poor memory and being unable to recollect past events or experiences.
If that is the case with you, then you would end up making many poor decisions the doesn’t help your business.
Another benefit of building your memory is that it helps in improving your focus and concentration.
These skills are necessary especially when you are in a learning phase or need to store important information for your business.
While someone with a poor memory might struggle to concentrate, a good memory will help you to be more focused on tasks and knowledge acquisition.
Also, you cannot always expect that you will have access to all the information you need when you need them.
Hence, building your memory will keep you prepared and best equipped to thrive even in the most difficult situations.
How to Build Your Memory – What to Do
Let us now go into the practicality of the process involved in building your memory.
Building your memory is a skill, and as with every other skill, it can be learned and improved through practice.
Hence, here are some practical things you can do to build your memory:
How to Build Your Memory – Practice Focus and Attention
Sometimes, the problem with a poor memory isn’t necessarily a difficulty in retrieving information from the memory.
Instead, it might be a failure to store or encode the information in the first place.
Hence, when you have new information before you, the first place this is stored is in your short-term memory.
In this memory, it is easier for you to forget that information.
For you to remember and in the process build your memory, you need to transfer it into your long-term memory.
This doesn’t just happen, however, as you will need to focus your attention on that information.
Doing this will convince your brain of the importance of the information and as such build your memory in the process.
Read to Understand
Understanding texts or new information has also been found to be very effective in building your memory.
Sometimes, in school or while learning a new concept, there might be a temptation to want to cram the information.
This is so when you know you need that information to pass an examination or assessment.
However, cramming does not help you in building your memory.
On the contrary, the only thing you get out of it at best is to put the information in the short-term memory, where it doesn’t last for long.
The best option is to read or take in information to understand them rather than just remembering for a short while.
When you read to take in information to understand, it helps you to build your memory, and help your retention and remembrance.
Practice Reading Out Loud
Experts have also said that one of the ways you can improve your memory is by replacing silent reading with reading out loud.
That means if a piece of information you want to remember and retain is in a text, you can practice reading it out loud.
When you do this, it puts pressure on your conscious self to take the information with great importance and store it in your memory.
Training your memory this way would build it up and help you in receiving, processing, retaining, and retrieving information better.
One of the best ways of remembering things is by teaching those things to others.
A lot of students make this a practice in school.
And it has helped many of them train their memories and be successful.
The principle can equally be applied in other areas of life.
When you have some information or facts that you hold dear, one way to train yourself to remember them is by teaching them to others.
This process is a practice on its own and it reinforces the information in your mind.
It then helps to build your memory.
Don’t Avoid Difficult Information But Embrace It
The way the human mind works naturally is to quickly shy away and try to avoid difficult information.
Every time you do this, you instantly send a message to your brain.
The message is that your memory power is low and cannot process such.
And having this as a constant habit would only make your memory power remain in that state without improvement.
However, when you embrace difficult information and push yourself to understand it, it helps to train and build your memory.
Before long, you get better at receiving and retaining even the most difficult of information.
Get Enough Sleep
As we earlier mentioned, one of the factors that make brain power weak and causes poor memory is sleep deprivation.
Therefore, you can drastically improve and build your memory when you get enough sleep every day.
Many health experts have suggested having at least 8 hours of sleep every day.
And this has proven effective in aiding memory power and retention.
Link New Information with Already Known Facts/Information
Another way of learning quickly and building your memory is creating a connection between a new piece of information with what you might already know.
This helps when trying to walk around new information or ones that are difficult to understand.
Since you already have previous memories, most of which you clearly remember, you can relate the new ones with these.
That way it is easier to remember the new ones and in the process, you are building your memory.
Connect Texts With Visuals
Many book authors or writers know the importance of this.
So, they use pictures and diagrams a lot in explaining difficult concepts.
With that, a reader that cannot readily remember a body of text might have his remembrance aided by images or diagrams in it.
You can also use this when trying to build your memory and remember things easily.
When you have the ideas or concepts in mind, you can try to visualize them.
You can also use word pictures to create a better understanding.
This can help you in building your memory.
In Conclusion – How to Build Your Memory
Are you currently struggling with remembering things or storing new information?
Would you like to build your memory power and retention abilities?
If yes, the solution comes to you today in the form of the practical measures just considered.
See this as a skill that you get better at with constant practice.
Make the necessary lifestyle changes on things that might be impeding your memory power and start taking action.
And in no time, you will see your memory improve and get better.