Many of us want to learn how to increase brain power because we forget even the simplest thing sometimes. Remember when you could recall the words to your favourite song but cannot remember where you last placed your house keys?
“We assume that we’ll remember much more than we actually do,” explains the professor of psychology at the University of Miami studying about attention. “Then we run up against a moment of struggle, failing to pinpoint specific details of an event we’ve experienced, and we wonder how much of our lives we are fully taking in.”
That is why Dr. Jha has discovered several tips that can help you remember something better. Other researchers agree with Dr Jha’s suggestions on how to increase brain power; some of their ideas are included here as well – hopefully these tips backed up by science can help you remember better.
How to increase brain power tip 1: Rehearsal
Examples of rehearsal include studying with flash cards and reviewing the important details of joyful or painful moments. This same concept can be applied to use your attention to trace the information from the name of your newest colleague to the highlights of work-training and even a memorable experience.
How to increase brain power tip 2: Elaboration
This tip uses attention to connect new experiences or information to what you already know or remember. Your memories become richer this way.
For instance, visualise an octopus – then someone telling you this sea creature has three hearts. If you did not know this before, you then anchor this knowledge onto your image of the octopus – when you see an octopus the next time, this information suddenly pops up and you will tell the person next to you about the three hearts.
How to increase brain power tip 3: Consolidation
The above two methods can help in forming initial memory. To sustain this over time in a more concrete form – which is called long-term memory – you’ll need consolidation, which refers to repeated replays of specific brain activity.
To do this, you can try drinking coffee after learning something, according to a study, which can improve memory recall up to 24 hours later. Getting enough sleep – seven to nine hours per night, as the National Sleep Foundation recommends – is another excellent consolidation technique since most of our memory consolidation happens during our sleep; even a short nap can help!
How to increase brain power tip 4: Mental downtime
We lead busy lives. Many things distract us from doing what needs to be done and makes us forget certain tasks in the end. Dr. Jha believes that task-free downtime can allow us to create some of our best ideas; she cites an example of people coming up with brilliant ideas during their shower time because they were not doing any attention-demanding tasks.
How to increase brain power tip 5: Spacing effect
The more you remember certain information again and again – spaced out over a period of time – the more likely you can keep the information in your brain. Dartmouth College Assistant Professor Sean Kang, a cognitive psychology professor, and other psychologists call this “the spacing effect.”
An example can be first learning about a Paralympian blind runner’s life story in a news clip; you then read about the same runner one day later, and someone mentions in passing about that runner’s story a few days later. Repetition of this story makes you re-learn information in different settings, and you will remember this story much more easily.
All in all, these tips on how to increase brain power – backed up by science – can help you retain those important details when you need them most. Try them out today and you might be amazed how much you can recall!