Tips and Techniques to Improve Short Term Memory

By Martin Mak

If you need to recall something that you learned just a few seconds ago or maybe 2 minutes ago, you are using your short term memory. Many factors affect your short term memory, also known as working memory. Understanding, or being aware of these factors, can help you dramatically improve your short term memory. Alternatively, there are also methods and techniques that will strengthen your short term memory.

Factors that affect short term memory include stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise and lack of proper nutrients essential for proper brain functioning. It is important to be able to de-stress if you have a stressful job or a stressful family environment. De-stressing techniques include body massages, long baths, and hanging out with friends. Intake of B-complex vitamins, zinc and foliate can often help you cope better with stress.

It is important to be able to get enough sleep for proper brain function. A good eight hours of sleep is important for short term memory improvement. When stress is preventing you from falling asleep, a hot cup of chamomile tea or warm milk can sometimes do the trick. Exercise also does wonders for short term memory. A morning or evening walk or jog often helps to de-stress a person and helps to bring oxygen to the brain.

In today's work environment, it is not uncommon to multi-task in a job. Being forced to handle 2 or more tasks at any given moment will invariably force the brain to focus on more areas and leads to short term memory loss. This again leads to the topic of stress and its management. Being able to be situationally aware of the jobs at hand, and staying alert is the best option to remembering things on a short-term basis.

The effectiveness of mnemonics being used to help short term memory has been a controversial issue. However, it is still the best technique to be used when trying to recall vast amount of information that has been passed down in a short space of time. In particular, a study with young people with learning disability has proven its effectiveness.

To improve short term memory, it is essential to know that memory uses mnemonics to set off certain physiological responses. The mnemonics include images, sounds, colors, tastes, smells, touch, language and emotions. Most of them are related to the senses. Associating a pleasant, frightening or funny image, color or sound to a certain information helps people to recall better

As soon as the mnemonics have been learnt and understood, there are steps to be taken to improve short term memory. When a person decides to memorize the things he or she learns, the motivation leads to enhancement of the memory. Using existing information when memorizing new ones is also a way to improve short-term memory.

The ability, and equally important, the motivation to teach someone else the new information learnt is one way of strengthening short term memory. Also, re-arranging and organizing information is a method to improve short term memory. Writing down information, reading out load, listening and seeing helps to engage more than one sense at the same time. In other words, adding colorful charts, cartoons, diagrams to a text increases the memorizing speed.

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About the Author:
Martin Mak is a memory expert and has developed a program to train your brain to improve memory and accelerate learning. Find out how with his free and popular ecourse at -> http://www.mightymemory.com