As we become more reliant on technology, we run the risk of living in a world of ‘digital amnesia’. We are no longer required to remember information such as phone numbers and directions which means that we are losing some memory capabilities.
When comparing the memories of millennials with those aged 55 and over, it appears that millennials are more likely to forget everyday things such as their keys and what day it is. Forgetting someone’s name, however, seems more common for those 55+.
Remembering directions meanwhile is a skill which has been weakened by navigation systems. Interesting fact - London cab drivers have a larger hippocampus than other people – the part of the brain responsible for navigation and memory. This is because they have to memorize huge amounts of routes for a test called The Knowledge.
Below are 5 handy tips for training your brain and boosting your memory, so you can avoid becoming a victim of digital amnesia.
1. Play Old Fashioned Brain Games - through our clinical research, we’ve learned that people who regularly do crossword puzzles, Bingo, Sudoku and/or Chess score better on cognitive tests.
• Crossword Puzzles – research shows that crossword puzzles can improve your ability to focus on a desired task and improve your working memory.
• Sudoku - great for your memory as it involves rehearsing in your head where to put the numbers. Scientists believe that Sudoku activates synapses across the memory areas of your brain and helps to avoid the unwanted changes in your memory.
• Bingo - due to its combination of challenges such as memorizing number patterns, solving problems and playing with the pressure of time, bingo keeps your brain healthy in a number of ways. These include helping to maintain the cognitive function of the brain, improving reaction time, heightening concentration, enhancing spatial awareness and reducing stress.
• Chess - gives your brain a good workout and depending on whether you are a newer player or a more experienced one, you’ll be training your short or long-term memory.
2. Try To Recall It - retrieve information from your brain organically – rather than automatically turning to Google or your phone to look up a name, phone number or fact. Sit there for a minute and concentrate until you can recall it.
3. Write Things Down - the act of writing something down actually allows you to remember that matter much better than if you are typing it or just reading it on a screen. When reading you often tend to skip over the boring parts and only the highlighted or important keywords catch your attention. So for things like contacts, passwords, or even small tasks, etc. try to write them in a notebook instead of using your phone.
4. Read A Book - that’s right. Reading an actual book rather than a tablet has been shown to improve memory retention.
5. Do A Digital Detox - for an hour or two a day, turn off your phone, computer and television to relax or better concentrate on a single task. Those emails and texts will still be there when you turn it all back on.