10 tips to boost your memory

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1. Be attentive

It is often said that listen in class represents 50% of the memorization work: it's true! The more you are focused on the information you receive, the better you understand it, and the more likely you are to retain it. It's worth it to make an effort and keep the chatter for the interclasses! Same thing when you review at home: isolate yourself and disconnect everything which could harm your concentration (telephone, internet, television …).

2. Sort

Memory needs to be organized, structured, classified. Also to retain information, it is important to give an order of importance (to appear on your revision sheets). To give them a logical order will also help you, as when rolling a ball of wool. So, try to visualize your course as a road with a succession of stages, or a house with its different rooms …

3. Play the parrot

To learn something by heart, it is not enough to read it, it must also be repeated in his head or out loud. Do it several times right away, then half an hour later to make sure the information is saved. But beware, do not try to learn everything by heart! Remember a lesson plan, a formula, dates … but not every word, which would be counterproductive.

Memory: how does it work?

To memorize information, the brain carries out three successive operations, as important as the others:

- encoding which is the learning phase. It is related to your emotional state and your degree of attention.

- Storage which corresponds to the moment when the brain arranges the information, like a cd that we engrave, label then class.

- Recovery which consists in finding the recorded information and restoring it.

4. Did you say mnemonics?

Memory uses different elements to retain information, such as where or when you learned it, who you were with, what it felt like, and so on. By associating an element during the encoding phase (see box), you increase your chances of rendering it. Some people are more sensitive to the visual, auditory or movement: remains to find the technique that suits you the most.

5. Escape the routine

There is nothing worse for the memory than to put your brain in autopilot. In order not to soften you, try to change regularly your routes, your places of exit, your "rituals" of the morning or the evening. Similarly, avoid passive activities. If you are watching TV, try a program that will make you think or where you can start a discussion with your loved ones. Or take the opportunity to remember one or more sentences.

6. To sleep!

The memory works also at night! The various phases of sleep serve indeed to our brain to classify and consolidate the knowledge, whether they were acquired during the day or that they are memories more distant. It is therefore essential to sleep well, and especially in sufficient quantity.

7. Run, swim, pedal …

Play sports helps oxygenate the brain and improves its cognitive function. In addition, the fact of making breaks in its revisions is crucial, because it gives the possibility to the memory to classify the information and to register them well. These are moments when your brain works for you without effort: enjoy!

8. Exit the stress

Being depressed or stressed can disrupt the learning process. In these moments, we are indeed less available and attentive to the information received. Then, stress promotes the production of cortisol, a harmful hormone recording memories in long-term memory. And especially we will be less tempted to remember information related to a negative emotion …

9. Take care of your plate

If there is no miracle food or magic pill that allows you to remember everything by heart, some foods stimulate memory. It's the case Fruits and vegetables which contain vitamins and antioxidants, but also fish, chocolate and all foods containing Omega 3, which strengthen the walls of neurons. Conversely, avoid foods that are too fatty, as well as excess caffeine or alcohol that disturb digestion and sleep …

10. Build up your memory

To maximize the capabilities of your memory, you must train it regularly by small simple exercises. Every day, try to remember a phone number or a list of items. Likewise at the end of the day, try to piece together the thread of what you did, who you met, what he or she was wearing, what you said, what you ate at lunch, etc. . A good exercise of brain gymnastics!


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