The hard fact is you’re either born with a photographic memory or you’re not. Many people claim they have it when they really don’t. But that’s okay, because you can actually “hack” your brain to boost your memory, recall, and recollection skills at an astounding level of detail.
Here are seven cognitive-enhancing ways to achieve that elusive photographic memory:
- Load up on those omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids – found mostly in oily fish like salmon and sardines – are widely known to be heart-friendly, reducing inflammation and blood pressure. Did you know, however, that they may also assist your brain power? A Harvard study shows that omega-3 fats can reverse memory decline. It’s your lucky day when you consider that there are ample sources of omega-3s in the standard diet, plus you can supplement with a high-quality, reliable cognitive supplement to get your levels up.
- Try mnemonics as a brain exercise. The mnemonic system uses patterns of associations, images, letters, and ideas to help you recall something. It could be rhyming a person’s name or creating a visual image of something you want to remember. For instance, if you aim to remember an address, you may visualize it written on a front door that you also visualize in great detail, e.g., red color, with a bronze door knocker, and any other applicable imagery.
- Slow down. This might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to remember something, especially as when you’re digesting loads of information, it is truly tempting to mentally wolf them down as quickly as possible. Research points out, however, that if you’re trying your best to memorize something, it’s ideal to break up the information over several days, and then repeatedly go over the material. For new language learners, don’t attempt to memorize dozens of adjectives by week’s end. Instead, pick 10 words and dedicate time to go over them, such as on a Monday or Sunday.
- Get your heart pumping! A better memory is one of the gifts that regular exercise offers. A study concludes that if you learn something new and exercise within four hours, at an intensity of around 80%, then your hippocampus, the region of the brain that is responsible for remembering, will have more activity. Exercise also has well-established benefits in cognitive enhancement, so this step makes so much sense in the short and long term.
- Try the chunking technique. “Chunking” is a psychological term for a memory retention trick that involves clumping numbers, words, or items together in a list in order to remember them. For example, if you want to remember items on your grocery shopping list, then clump them together in various categories such as meats, frozen items, fresh produce, and personal care products. You may also divide your grocery list into potential meals, such as clumping lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, and cucumbers into a chunk called “salad ingredients.”
- Manage your distractions. For some people, it’s not about being forgetful; instead they are too distracted to effectively learn and retain the information in the first place. This means not multitasking if possible. Focus your entire attention on completing an activity at a single time, even with the temptation of doing several things at once. This gives you a greater chance of retaining information, which saves you more time in the long run. Again, a nootropic aid can come to your rescue to maintain focus and concentration.
- Consume protein. New research coming out shows that a high-protein diet directly correlates with an iron-clad memory. You might wonder why: it’s likely because of the amino acids, namely tyrosine and phenylalanine. This tip might not be for everyone (like those adopting vegetarian and vegan diets), so supplementation might be key to compensate for what’s lacking in your diet.
Honestly, there’s just a myriad of memory-enhancing methods out there. They include doing puzzles, learning a new language, reading more (whether books or magazines), learning at least one new word a day, and meditating. In no time, you’ll have a supercharged memory that can help you stand out in a crowd without extreme measures.