A good memory is a very powerful asset to have. Knowingly or unknowingly, it will help you in every sphere of life. A good memory will help you in your studies, at work, in your everyday life, and even in your social life. However, not everyone has the natural ability to remember well. Fortunately, there are a number of steps to better both, the short term memory and long term memory. You can increase your ability to remember by exercising your memory, consuming a nutritious diet, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Brain Exercises: Just like we use physical exercise to tone our bodies, we can use mental exercises to sharpen our minds. The same principles of exercise are in force here, too. The more you exercise your brain, the better you'll be able to process and remember information. Brain exercises to meliorate short term memory are based on novelty and sensory stimulation. The idea is to challenge yourself so you may use brain pathways you haven't used before, ever. You don't need a specific 'exercise', for brushing your teeth. Even doing it with your recessive hand will suffice. This will utilize the lesser used connections on the recessive side of your brain. Alternately, you can try 'neurobic' exercises, which involve doing tasks differently, such as dressing with your eyes shut. Learning anything new is good for your brain, even something as simple as a game of cards or a new recipe.
Focus: You need to pay attention to any subject for your brain to grasp it. You need to give a subject about 8 seconds of your complete attention for a piece of information to reach the appropriate memory center in your brain. Try to eliminate distractions, and do not multitask when you need to concentrate.
Understand Your Learning Style: While most people are able to learn better by reading or seeing what they have to know, you may learn better by listening to someone. If this be the case, it is better for you to record information that you are trying to learn and listen to it. It is important for you to understand what your learning style is, and use that method to acquire information.
Organize Information: Organizing the information one acquires, helps in retaining it. This can mean making entries in address books, datebooks, and/or calendars; or making lists and notes. If the material is complicated, make notes about it and organize the notes into categories later. While making notes, include pictures along with words.
Draw Connections: While learning anything new, try to relate it to information you already know about the subject. Memorizing becomes easier by drawing connections between new and existing information. Even if the subject is entirely new, it is almost always possible to relate it to something you already know.
Mnemonic Devices: Another way of improving short term memory is through mnemonic devices, which are little tricks used to remember information, that usually involves association of the material to an image, a sentence, or a word. For example, one may visualize a microphone to remember the name 'Mike', or remember the sentence 'My Very Extraordinary Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies' to learn the names of the planets ' (back when Pluto was a planet).
If you want to enhance your short term memory, start living a healthy life. Things that are sure to improve short term memory and things you should swear by include regular exercise, managing stress, sleeping sufficiently, and not smoking. A healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and "healthy" fats, also helps improve memory. Include B vitamins, especially B6, B12, and folic acid, antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta carotene and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Another surprising fact is that having a positive attitude, and telling yourself that you can learn and remember a piece of information will actually help you remember it.