Do you want to improve your memory and mental performance? One thing you can do is give your brain a mental workout.
Here are 3 brain exercises that will improve your memory by teaching you how to strengthen the nerve connections in your brain.
These mental gymnastics will also activate your less used pathways in your brain and help you keep your mind fit.
1. Repeat what people say in your mind.
There is one sad truth about all of us, and that is our non-presence when we talk we someone. Many times we just wait others to finish their thoughts, so we can say our opinion. We forget to listen in that moment. But, you don’t have to be that kind of a person. Don’t just nod your head when people are talking to you. Be an active listener and use that moment as a good training for your brain and memory.
Start with being present in that moment. Follow what people say and repeat their words in your mind. That will help you to remember more information and details. For example, imagine that your partner is saying: “Tomorrow we need to go to the store and buy fruit and vegetables. Than we can prepare the dinner for your family that will be coming over”.
While you are repeating these words in your mind, you can also create a picture in your head. Imagine how you both go to the store to buy all the groceries and then how you prepare the dinner. This is an excellent brain exercise because our brains memorize easier when they connect multiple senses. With this exercise you are creating a visual mental image and are connecting it with the sound and meaning of the words.
We all have the ability to look at a situation or experience from another perspective so that we can learn something new or think and feel better about a past event. That ability is called reframing. This is a perfect brain exercise, because it not only stimulates your brain to work and find the events from memory it also teaches you to see your failures as learning opportunities and extract the positive from all your experiences.
Often, people experience a loss or a failure and decide to give up. However, reframing gives you the power and resilience to keep pushing yourself and improve.
– Turning a negative into a positive
You can reframe a bad experience into something that made you stronger. Look at failures as learning experiences that will help you throughout your life for future situations. As the saying goes “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.
It’s interesting to know that recently psychologists have identified something known as “post traumatic growth”. It happens when someone goes through a traumatic experience, but comes out of it as a stronger, more resilient and optimistic person. To be able to identify the good in the bad should be an important trait for any healthy mind.
– Broadening your perspective
In a given moment, a bad experience can feel like the end of the world. But after some time has passed, when you look back on it, the event losses its significance and initial affect. It might even seem like it was nothing. Sometimes you may even wonder why it had such a big impact on you and made you so upset.
When reframing a situation and trying to broaden your perspective, imagine yourself 10 years from now. How will this event impact your life? How does it fit in the bigger picture? Would you care as much then as you do now?
When you broaden your perspective and calmly think it through, things don’t often seem as important as we make them out to be. Do this often to stimulate your brain and make it a habit. Having a broad perspective on your life is very beneficial. We suggest turning it into an exercise. Chose one situation or an event and reframe it by broadening your perspective once a day, preferably before you go to bed. This will also have a calming effect and will decrease your worries.
– Emphatic perspective reframing
This type of reframe is when we place ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Imagine yourself experiencing a situation from another person’s perspective. When we do this, we stimulate our brain and improve our cognitive thinking.
When reframing a situation this way, we can get a clearer picture of someone else’s ideas and intentions. We can understand more easily why they acted the way they did. By doing this we train our brains to try and understand why people sometimes do things that hurt us, be it intentionally or not.
As we develop this skill, we can better learn to forgive, let go of grudges and other negative feelings that we might hold against others. This will also help us in surprising situations, when someone acts contrary to how we thought they might react.
On the next page we will see how to use mnemonic devices