How to Improve Short Term Memory

How to improve short term memory

Do you forget things that you wanted to do just a minute or so ago? Do you feel like it’s at the back of head, but try as you can, you cannot seem to recall it? Does this happen regularly? Then you may be experiencing a case of short term memory loss to some degree.

How does short term memory work?

Short term memory usually “holds” things for a small amount of time – about 15 seconds to a minute – and then decides to discard that information or store it for long-term retrieval. Usually, a short term memory can hold up to 7-15 items at a time, differing from person-to-person. While a lesser degree of short term memory loss is harmless, chronic memory loss needs to be diagnosed immediately.

How to improve short term memory

So, if you are wondering how to improve short term memory, here are a few tips you could follow:

1. Focus
Short term memory loss can mostly be attributed to a lack of focus. So if you just got a new piece of information that you want to hold on to, keep focusing on it for about 8 seconds (some theories suggest 8 seconds is the time required to transfer information from short term to long term memory,) and then you are set.
Do this every time and you’ll become accustomed to it, slowly and steadily improving your short term memory in the process.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep deprivation can be a big cause for short term memory loss. Get a full 8 hours of sleep every night, so that your brain is adequately rested and ready to go. Make it a regular routine; this helps improve your brain’s health and subsequently improve short term memory.

3. Mnemonics
Use shortcuts to remember a piece of information effectively. For example, if you need to remember a word, try using it in a sentence. Make up visual associations of any particular thing you need to do at a particular time, and you will be able to remember it. One effective mnemonic is VIBGYOR, used to remember the colors of a rainbow.

4. Use Your Senses
Using more than one of your senses while getting some new information can help you remember it better. For example, when you learn a new name, repeat it out loud, thus increasing your chance of remembering it. Shake the person’s hand; note the cologne he’s wearing. More the senses you use at the time, more the probability of you remembering it.
Utilize these tips regularly to strengthen your brain power and improve short term memory over the long run. Train your brain, and your brain will respond in kind.

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