Improving your memory may sound a pretty boring thing to do, but it’s not. If you can remember things, it means you have less need to write lots of lists, it means you are more likely to remember things in exams (failing them could lead to all kinds of problems!) and it’s always good to remember where you put your keys!
365 Cool Ways to Remember Stuff is packed with tips and rhymes to help with gramma, spelling, punctuation, maths, science and history. How many days are there in each month, what are the names of the planets in the solar system and what’s the difference between a noun and a verb? This book shows how to learn key facts in every school subject, using fun illustrations and engaging educational text.
Did you know that we begin to forget our memories, right back in childhood? Our brain can process so much information (the same as 3 million hours of TV) but modern life is so hectic and stressful, that the overload can mean our memories work far less (often dementia patients forget everything bar music, the last memory to go). We are visual learners more than sounds as humans, so you are more likely to remember a face (although some people suffer from ‘face blindness’, which means that each time they meet you, it’s the very first time! Lack of sleep and depression can also play havoc with our memories (and some people subconsciously choose to block out painful memories, as a way to cope with traumatic events – not always a bad thing). Meditation is good for boosting your memory. And if you’re left-handed, think yourself lucky, as you naturally will have a better memory!
Did you know that Mozart literally was a genius? Age just 14, he was the first to transcribe a music piece performed in the Sistine Chapel by Italian composer Gregorio Allergri, which had never been written down.
Tips to Improve Your Memory
- Drink water, as if you don’t, your brain literally starts to shrink!
- Eat a healthy plant-based diet, with lots of the good stuff.
- Eat less refined sugar – long linked to cognitive decline.
- Keep your brain active by talking, listening, doing quizzes etc.
- Take regular exercise, to keep your body with good oxygen.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol, as it kills off your brain cells.
- Same with watching junk TV!
- Plant-based omega acids are good for brain and memory.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get outside in nature, vitamin D (made by sunlight) is good for your brain.
Fun Facts on Animal Memories
- Do elephants never forget? You’ve heard this, right? In fact, it’s more to do with smell. Our ellie friends don’t have good eyesight, but they have wonderful smell. So if they remember you, it’s likely because they recognise your aroma, rather than your face! Their memory is not for our benefit, but for the matriarch to lead herds to water holes, in times of drought.
- Dolphins have unique whistles, and studies with wild pods have found that when they find each other after 20 years, they recognise each other’s whistle! Whales also have good memories to migrate huge distances, and boaters say they often know the whales recognising their ships (this is good for whales, as they learn to recognise hunting boats, to avoid them).
- Octopuses are intelligent aliens who have wonderful memories. One family in Egypt rescued a dying octopus and put it back in the water, then went home. The octopus recovered and followed them around for around an hour the day after, knowing it was them who saved them! They also recognise and remember fisherman who catch crabs, then steal them for their own dinner!
- Goldfish do have memories of up to 3 months and possibly longer. Which is why sticking them in a small tank with nothing to do is unkind. If you already have them like this, then see if a local hotel or chip shop or takeaway will take them on, if they are the right species and you adjust the water before having them join new fishy friends. Fish need large tanks with company and plenty of ‘things to do’.
- Of course, some animals (although still intelligent) have terrible memories. Two are ostrichs (who apparently often have no idea why or where they are running to!) And snakes, who simply are not built with an in-built memory. So although a pet snake sort of knows you look after them, they don’t really have that much of an idea (nor care) who you are!