Memory and Concentration Work Side by Side
It is common sense really; attention and concentration have a lot to do with memory. Memory and concentration are closely related. Pay attention, concentrate on something you are looking at or reading or listening to, and chances are you will remember it for a long time afterwards. Don’t concentrate, pay only sketchy attention, and you won’t remember it five minutes later. Good concentration helps to enhance memory retention.
However, memory is not solely dependent on concentration. Still, memory and concentration are greatly related, and it is not enough to practice only skills for improving memory if you ignore concentration. Enhance concentration, along with the use of a few memory “tricks”, and you are likely to see a huge improvement in your memory. Attention and concentration are very important for cognitive performance and recall.
Improved Memory and Concentration Build Neuronal Pathways
When new information enters into your brain, it creates neural pathways between the nerve cells in the brain. This is where memory and concentration come together. When you concentrate, the information entering the brain gets properly encoded into your memory. If you don’t focus, the information simply floats into your brain without leaving a permanent imprint. Encoded information, through concentration, is stored as long-term memory, with the same neural pathways becoming activated when you need to recall it.
Memory and concentration are both enhanced if you can give the new information some kind of an emotional context. Emotional responses are a good way to encode new information, and healthy nerve cell connections are necessary to make recall easy. Work on keeping fit, reducing stress, reducing distractions, focusing on the task at hand, taking adequate and frequent breaks, can all aid memory retention.
To learn and retain new information efficiently, create a personal interaction, give a personal meaning to the information, and link it with something you know and understand.
It becomes harder to learn and remember information and facts as you age and take on more responsibilities. The more distractions and stresses you have in your life, the less likely you are to be able to pay the requisite attention to new tasks and information. Along with the attention span, the processing speed of your brain slows down too, as you age.
Practice focusing techniques to increase learning and work on being alert, focused, and motivated. Tune out distractions, and concentrate on the task. Take ample breaks to prevent brain fatigue, and to keep the facts separate from one another. Give extra effort to create meaning, and to understand, rather than trying to learn by rote.
Use more than one sense organ. Read, write, visualize, and say it out loud. Work out regularly with brain exercises, word games, and memory booster games. Try to create a web of information by relating new facts to colors, textures, smells or tastes you can easily recall. Explain the new ideas to someone else to crystallize your own learning. Review and rehearse the new information often.