During PE you do exercises to keep you in good physical shape, but what do you do to keep you mentally fit? Memory training is equally important. Especially now, during preparations for exams, when you need to memorize a large amount of information. In our article, we’ll tell you about 10 simple exercises with which you’ll easily pump your kinks.
Yes, that’ s right, the same one you did in elementary school. Mental calculation trains your working (short-term) memory. How does it work? Have you ever gone to the store and couldn’t remember what you wanted to buy? Short-term memory is responsible for storing this kind of information. If such “forgetfulness” often happens to you, it is advisable to train this type of memory. For example, count quickly from 100 to 1, or from 300 to 1 at intervals of three digits (300, 297, 294, and so on). There are many combinations – you can come up with a different one every day!
Remember a simple game from your childhood? Everyone one by one names words with the letter that the previous person’s word ended with. We’ll simplify the task (or complicate it, depending on how you look at it): call a word for each letter of the alphabet. This will help you “wake up” the words that are “dormant” in your memory, and engage the connections between the nerve cells. This will also be helpful for those who have difficulty writing essays because of their meager vocabulary and are constantly wondering who can write my essay for me for a good grade.
Get rid of the “automaton”
Many things in everyday life we do automatically, without including thinking processes at all. Try to make some changes in the things you’re used to: brush your teeth with a different hand, change the wallpaper on your phone, choose a different (albeit longer) way to school. Such simple actions will help your brain cells to engage and keep them from getting bored.
Choose what to look at
Make yourself the following mini-quests for each day: choose a single object, color, or element to look at throughout the day. For example, you chose yellow. Your task is to pay attention to yellow-colored objects and try to remember them. It can be anything: a hat, leaves, a bus, a traffic signal, and so on. It’s an exercise that’ll really sharpen your information-seeking and retention skills.
In everyday life we operate with signs and numbers, but rarely with images! So at your leisure you can do some drawing (even if you never attended art school or think it’s not at your place). Look around the room, pick out an object, stare at it for about 30 seconds and try to remember the details. Then transfer everything to paper. The important thing here is not to end up with a work of art, but to reflect all the details: shadow, shape, patterns, and so on.
Describe the objects
Okay, if you don’t want to draw in any way, here’s another way. Instead of drawing an object, describe it. Yes, the algorithm is the same: choose an object with your eyes, try to remember the details in half a minute, and then turn around and say out loud what you remembered. Don’t forget to turn around and check yourself.
Learn by heart
While you’re in school, you’re just forced to learn poetry. Unfortunately, this is not usually practiced at university. And after all, learning poetry or new words is very cool for your brain and memory. Of course, we’re not asking you to memorize poetry every day (although you can!), but learning 3-5 new words is quite realistic. Moreover, if you are going to take a foreign language exam, it will be a great way to improve not only your memory, but also your vocabulary.
Build “memory palaces”
You may have already heard of this method (also called the “Cicero method” or the “Roman room”). The essence of this technique is to create an imaginary space where you can mentally move and remember the necessary details. Take a familiar place as the basis: a house, a room, a classroom, and then try to describe everything to the smallest detail.
The Internet has long been full of different applications for memory, attention and reaction training. Just type “memory training puzzles” into a search engine, and you’ll get lots of options. In the same category could include quizzes, crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other “classic” games. By the way, they are also available in mobile format. Use the phone with advantage!
Do not forget about auditory memory
This exercise is best done in pairs, but if there is no one to ask to play with you, you can use a recorder. The idea is that someone says a number of totally random words, and you say the first letters of each one. For example, they say “dog, mug, table, road, sky”, and you answer “DMTRS”. Start with 3-5 words, gradually increasing the number.
At first it will seem that the exercises are complicated and that there are too many of them. But believe us, each of them will not take more than 10 minutes a day. Especially if you can do many of them on the way to school or on breaks. You don’t need to do all ten at once every day – start with one or two and alternate exercises every day. This is useful not only for preparing for exams, but also for everyday life (so you don’t have to think for two hours in the store what you went there for).