Memory is one of our most cherished abilities. Whether we are remembering something good that makes us happy or remembering something bad that helps us not to make the same mistake twice memory is constantly serving us in many useful ways. Unfortunately as we get older and our memory banks fill up many of us begin to have trouble with either short term or long term memory.
This can cause anything from minor embarrassment (forgetting an old friend’s name) to major problems (forgetting to pay bills or take medication). But just like other areas of the brain your memory can be trained and exercised to perform at peak levels. Though some people seem to have photographic or superior memories many of us have to work at it in order to retain the memories we have and to store new ones.
One way to sharpen our memory abilities and to retain memories longer is to play memory games that challenge our brains to recall information. Memory games can be as simple as matching cards that are alike to more advanced games of Simon Says, puzzles and riddles. Each is designed to strengthen your mind’s ability to recognize an image or object and then recall that image or object when seen again. Though memory games seem simple and perhaps elementary so is memory and the only way to keep it active and fresh is to train it on a consistent basis.
Research has shown there are three reasons why we forget: 1) failure to register the information, 2) failure to retain the information and 3) failure to remember or retrieve the information. Any slip in one of these three areas will cause your memory to falter and if you only focus on one area for training and not the other two then there is only so much you will be able to remember. Registering, retaining and retrieving information is all necessary to having a working memory.
When training your memory it is best to start with simple games that will appear easy but will get you started on the right path for more challenging exercises. Most memory training comes down to repetition, meaning the more you see and recall something the better chance your memory has for remembering it. Staying relaxed and focused are also keys to retaining and retrieving information.