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... Because it's All in Your Mind!

 

Memory Spring Monthly

Memory Keys to Improve Test Taking

 
Test2 - Cropped
 
Test taking is something we all do. Whether it’s for school or a certification or a license, we all take tests.  While some of us are really good at it, most of us don’t get the results that we want.  The key to performing well on tests is preparation.  
 
With good preparation our brain can store information in a way that it’s easily retrievable.  Poor preparation makes it virtually impossible to access key data when you need it. 
 
Here are some things that you can do to make information easier to store and recall: 
 
Avoid Cramming - Many times we cram before tests.  We spend countless hours reading and reviewing at the last minute. Then when we take the test we blank out or only remember a small portion of material. The problem is that our brain needs the data stored in our head in a recallable way. In most cases, when you reach the point where you have to cram, you have run out of time to structure the information the right way.  Consequently, you’re all night cramming session becomes a waste of time and energy. 
 

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Jogging Your Memory

 Hammer to Head - Cropped
We all have moments in the day where me mentally lose it.  We misplace our keys.  We lose a vital phone number.  We forget a familiar person's name. In many cases we freak out, beat ourselves up, and fear that we are losing it.  Don't worry... here are some tips to help you jog your memory. 
 
1) Relax - Instead of freaking out and beating yourself up (and we're oh so good at that), sit back, take some deep breaths and relax.  Relaxing improves blood flow to the brain and gets those synapses working again. It's all happened to us... we get halfway to work, we finally relax, and we have our epiphany... "It's on the night stand!"
 
2) Relive all experiences that connect with the item - Most of us do an excellent job of reliving what we did with the item previously to losing it. What is really happening is that we're using sequencing, which is a powerful memory tool, to help in the recall process. Sometimes you have to go deeper and relive earlier experiences with the item to effectively jog your memory.
 

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Why Do We Walk into Rooms and Forget?

 Head Scratcher
 
“What did I come into this room for?  What was I going to do?” 
 
These are questions we ask ourselves every day.  Almost every time we’re working on something in one room and then walk into a new one we forget why we came into that room.  Of course then we beat ourselves up and/or we freak out and begin worrying that we’re on our way to Alzheimer’s land.  Well, it’s time to stop worrying.  Recent research shows that it’s a common occurrence and that our brain struggles with changes of scenery. It’s called the “doorway effect.”
 
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found that when we change our scenery (rooms) our brain forgets things. The researchers tested people in real environments and virtual environments (video games).  It didn’t matter what environment (virtual or real), when people switched rooms they tended to forget many of the things that they had with them and why they were in the new room. 
 

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What is the Right Diet to Improve Your Memory and Brain Health?

Nutrition
 
  
There is a plethora of information on the internet related to foods and supplements that can improve your memory. While a strong case can be made for many of those recommendations, there is new data showing that the best medicine might be a heart healthy diet.
 
A Recent study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital  showed that women who ate the most saturated fats from foods such as red meat and butter performed worse on memory and thinking tests than women who ate the lowest amount of these fats. This study supports other data that links heart healthy diets to improved brain health and memory.
 
While there are many theories on why heart healthy diets have an impact on memory performance and brain health, the most commonly held belief is related to cholesterol levels in the body. 
 

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