6 minutes | May 18, 2020

How to improve your working memory in less than a minute!

There might be times when you wonder if there's anything you can do about your failing memory. There is! There are plenty of things you can do to preserve those precious brain cells. Here are some of them.TranscriptionAnyone ever informed you that you’re not as daft as you think you are?Ever had that little voice in your head ask, “How do you know how daft I think I am?”We all feel silly from time to time. We’ve all done foolish things, and questioned our brainpower or indeed, sanity!One of the most bonkers things I think I’ve done was many years ago, anticipating a dip in the spa waters in Rosh Pinna, north of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel. Knowing that the water was, apparently good for you but bad for cheap jewellery, I removed the silver earrings from my ears, understanding that the water would react with the metal.And then I did something incomprehensibly stupid!I stuffed them down the top of my bikini and proceeded to enter the water!Thus, dunking said silver earrings in the water anyway!Duh!And yes, the water reacted with the silver and turned the earrings black!Sometimes I think I am indeed as daft as I think I am!On the other hand, it did inspire my lovely husband to buy me a decent pair of diamond earrings, which I have enjoyed wearing everywhere and anywhere, ever since.So maybe, not so daft after all!Perhaps, like me, you have been surprised both by your apparent stupidity one minute, and genius thinking the next?Or is it just me?There’s so much we still don’t understand about the brain. Imagine that – most of what we know about the brain we have learnt in the last few years, and there are so many unanswered questions, we still can’t get our head around it! Ha ha!Certainly, what I was taught at school about the brain is complete and utter tosh, and yet it was the best information we had at the time.OK, I admit it. That was a while ago now.Crikey! A long while ago!Encouragingly, though, the more we learn about the mysterious workings of the brain, the more tips and tricks we discover we can use to improve our brainpower.Wanna try these? Each will only take you a few seconds. Give ‘em a go and let me know how you get on.Go GreenGo Green! We already know that hospital patients whose beds allow them to see nature and the environment through a window recover faster. What’s more, it turns out it doesn’t even have to be the real thing. Recovery is still faster for those patients able to see a large photograph or mural of the natural world painted on an adjacent wall.A new study at the University of Melbourne has recently discovered that looking at images of nature, even for less than a minute, was all it took to improve participants’ attention spans and concentration, reducing mental errors when tested. So, if you want to concentrate on a task, look out your window, if you’re lucky enough to look out onto a green scene, and if not, maybe consider installing screensaver on your computer that will do the job just as well.Chew gumChew gum! I wrote an article recently about ear worms. You know, a really annoying song going round and round in your head. It turns out that chewing gum will help you get rid of it. In fact, just up the road here, at the University of Reading, research confirmed that, and I quote, “…co-opting the articulatory motor programme to chew the gum impairs the involuntary recollection of an auditory image.”So now you know!Eat chocolateDark chocolate, that is. More
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