There’s so much information out there today and an incredible amount of learning opportunities. But how do you absorb all of this detail and retain it in your memory? Whether you are studying for an important exam or have just come across an interesting article on the internet here are some tried and tested techniques to help you supercharge the way you learn.
Exercise and Sleep Improves Learning
One of the best ways to energise your brain is to exercise. This simple act ensures oxygen gets to the brain and helps with retaining knowledge. Take a break when studying and go for a walk or a swim. You’ll return refreshed and ready to absorb even more facts. Sleep is also vital. When the brain is sleep deprived it fails to take in all the information being fed to it. Key memory enhancing activity occurs when in a deep sleep so making sure you get decent rest will help sharpen that memory.
Small Bite Studying
Just like grazing your way through a buffet table gives you a range of the food being served so dividing the work being studied helps retain knowledge. Whilst some people find it helpful to divide material into chapters and chunks there’s an even smarter way to absorb it all. Take a short section of words, say 80, and read right through it. It is also worth adding variety to a study session with a bite size piece here and another chunk there. It cuts things up and keeps your mind sharper and more focused.
Learn from Mistakes
Self-testing is a great way to learn. One group of psychologists found that when people were asked to guess the meaning of a few words in a foreign language they invariably got it wrong. However, they did recall a significant number of words when trying again. It seems that learning from error can instil that knowledge and is an effective way of learning. In psychology this is often referred to as “desirable difficulty” and by making something just that little bit harder, it can help people learn from the challenge.
Get the Formula Right
Learning something new can take time but people find it easier with an algorithm and some key phrases. These have been found to be effective when memorising words as part of a learning exercise. Another similar experiment saw people being shown a flowing waterfall as they were absorbing information and this helped with memory retention. Using mnemonics as well as rhymes and alliteration helps embed knowledge and facts into the brain. Another way of boosting the memory is to use cues and imagery to recall facts such as associating names with a picture of something.
Work Out the Brain
Giving the brain a challenging thing to do is an excellent way of working out the neural pathways. Make sure that whatever you do is fun, challenging and new. In that way you’ll be exercising the brain cells to absorb and retain more facts. Things like playing a musical instrument, juggling, climbing, and even knitting can get the brain cells worked out in a really effective way.
Eat Food for the Brain
Some foods are known to enhance the brain cells and contribute to better learning and memory. Examples include green tea which contains antioxidants. These protect the body against free radicals that damage brain cells. Fruit and vegetables are also known to contain antioxidants, and in particular the superfoods such as apricots, blueberries, kale, and spinach are renowned for their ability to boost brain power. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and are known to boost memory and brain power. Including these foods in your diet helps improve memory.
Keeping on top of new learning and remembering information is a challenge. Boost your brain power and you’ll find that memory recall will be as sharp as it can be. Why not give it a try today with a few small changes to your lifestyle.