Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body, but we’ve likely all had times where it’s failed us when it comes to memory. How many times do you recognize someone’s face but can’t remember their name or where you know them from? And as we get older, we often find it hard to absorb information like we were able to before, especially when we’re trying to learn something new.
But I have good news! There’s ways to train your brain to not only help you better remember things, but also learn faster. Here are five things you can incorporate into your learning that help.
1. Adjust your learning environment
We all have developed times of the day where we find learning and productivity is at an all time high. We also all know too well what it’s like to feel like it’s not humanly possible to focus, or shove anything else into our brains. This is because we have biological rhythms for our mental state. So in order to be the most effective when learning, you need to identify those times you do your best learning.
How? Start tracking these times throughout a week to help identify high and low points in your week and what your environment was at the time. This will help you identify patterns. From there, you’ll be able to figure out the best times for you to be at your best.
2. Take notes
Taking notes helps our brains remember and analyze information we are learning. And no, this doesn’t mean making notes on your computer; we’re talking about the classic, old school hand written notes.
With writing we are forced to make quicker judgments about the information we are hearing, where as when we type, we often aren’t thinking about or processing the information since we type faster. So start taking notes in meetings, classes, webinars, etc. to allow yourself to absorb more information.
3. Exercise your brain
Just like the rest of our bodies, your brain also needs exercising. Start by forcing yourself to learn something new or even utilize technology in a way that works in your favour. Technology is famously known as the solution to help us think less, but in reality, it can also help our brains too. Several apps exist out there that will challenge our brains and keep us healthy like Lumosity and BrainHQ.
4. Get out of your routine
Doing the same thing day after day reduces the brains ability, but when we challenge ourselves to get out of our routine and do something different, our brain reacts in a different way too. Your brain will begin to wire new pathways and help you do new things better and faster. For example, if you’re a procrastinator, the more you don’t procrastinate, your brain will change its ways and not want to wait last minute to make things happen. Remember, starting small is critical in making these sorts of changes.
5. Watch your diet
Eating foods that contain protein and fiber make your mind healthier. Food like fish, fruit and vegetables will all help you perform optimally and helps boost and produce dopamine, which assists in learning and memory. Avoid foods like juice, cheese, white rice, as these contain saturated fats and sugar.
You need to stop blaming your terrible memory on your brain, and start trying things like the five habits above to help boost your brains functionality, which in turn will help you learn and absorb more!
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.