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We, as survivalists, have developed a habit of feeding our brain information on a regular basis. And while it’s great to stay informed and constantly be curious and hungry for knowledge, it also pressures our brain into memorizing things to the point where overloading is imminent. The more we force ourselves to memorize, the more our memory stretches, but there’s also a downside: when we feed our brain new information, some of the things we’ve learned change status from “important” to “forgotten”. The mind forgets some things to let others become priority.
So how can we keep staying informed and learning new things every day, without overcharging our brain and forgetting crucial things we’ll surely need when SHTF? You can try one (or all) of the following quick & easy tricks to boost your memory power:
We are social beings, we were built to create and maintain relationships, to communicate, to share experiences, memories and stories. Unfortunately, too many people neglect this crucial part of our lives and choose to live their lives in front of their TV instead of spending it with family and friends.
If you want a healthy memory, keep in touch with your friends and, ideally, try to make new ones, as well. Talk to them on a regular basis, have a good time remembering the things you’ve been through together and don’t be afraid to argue for the sake of argument. As long as you respect each other opinions and treat each other accordingly, arguments can help your brain develop new neuronal connections, improving your memory, as well.
#2: No stress allowed!
Stress, depression and anxiety can affect your memory on the long run. Concentrating becomes harder than ever when you’ve constantly got something to worry about on your mind. This forces your brain to focus on whatever causes you stress, instead of learning new things and memorizing crucial information that may save your life someday.
Also, stress and anxiety can take a toll on your decision making abilities, as well. And you know just how important these abilities are when you’re fighting for your life. Even one second can make a difference, so try to release stress and focus on what really matters in life: your family’s safety and protection.
#3: Keep an eye on your diet
And by that, I don’t mean change your diet. Just make sure you add these foods to your daily meals:
Omega-3s: These are your memory’s fuel and you should include them in every single meal you have. You can find them in fish (especially salmon, tuna, trout, herring and sardines) and other seafood (oysters and mussels). You can also get your brain power from walnuts and flexseed, but also from broccoli and spinach.
Fruit and veggies: They contain antioxidants, which protect your brain cells from damage. To make sure you get maximum of antioxidants, go for green leafy veggies, grapes, bananas, mangoes and cantaloupes.
Also, you’ll want to reduce saturated fat to the minimum, as it is known to cause brain cell damage. Avoid whole milk, butter and processed cheese. You might want to reduce red meat, as well. That doesn’t mean you have to scratch them off your shopping list for once and for all, but you should consume them with moderation and load up on Omega-3s, fruit and veggies more.
#4: Sport for your brain
No, you don’t have to become a Sudoku master. There are some very simple exercises you can do every day that will keep your memory in great shape.
– Read daily: online articles, books, newspapers, the horoscope, whatever you want… just don’t let a day go by without reading something.
– Do something new as often as possible: try a new route home, go to another supermarket than your usual shopping place, meet someone you haven’t seen in a long time… Anything you haven’t done before or in a very long time will do, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you.
– Do something challenging: learn how to fix your car, start exercising, start a new hobby, whatever makes you focus on something new and fun. And since we’re talking about fun…
– Do something that makes you feel good: as I said before, your brain needs relaxation to function properly, so start and end your day with little activities that make you feel good.
#5: Focus on basic ideas
When you’ve got something complex to memorize, don’t force your brain into memorizing all the details at once. Brains need a good organization system to work properly, so try this system, called mindmapping:
– extract the basic ideas and memorize those (use flash cards, write them down, say them aloud, use mnemonic devices)
– when you’ve memorized the basic ideas, add details/explanations to each of them, based on their importance (crucial details first, to make sure you remember those first)
– Leave fine details last. If you know the basic ideas and the most important details and explanations, it will be much easier to memorize fine details, as you already have a system to build on.
#6: Use mnemonic devices
Using associations, rhymes and acronyms, for example, can help your brain memorize important information both on the short term and the long term. Try them all to see which one works best for you and use them every time you need to memorize something complicated (such as specific survival plan).
Here are the most efficient mnemonic devices, via HelpGuide:
#7: Try herbal medicine
There are certain plants known to boost brain power. Some may not be widely available, but you can check the following list and see what you can find in your area.
– Gotu Kola
– Green Tea
#8: Write things down
If you’ve got something important to memorize, write it down. Underline the parts you absolutely must not forget, write them in a larger font, or use some crazy color. Involve as many senses as possible and your brain will remember the details much easier and much clearer.
#9: Say things aloud
Just like writing things down on paper, in crazy colors and large fonts, saying things aloud adds a sense to the memorizing process: your hearing. Repeat whatever it is you need to memorize in different voices, sing it or use rhymes to remember it easier.
#10: Breathe deeply and clench your fist
This may sound weird, but studies show breathing deeply and clenching your fist can help you remember things more clearly. So next time you’re struggling remembering something that seems to have got lost somewhere in your mind, use these little tricks. Your answer might pop out to the surface faster than you expected.
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