Memory is in short a consolidation of information in the brain with an ability to retrieve latter for any useful purposes.
Memory is seen in most animals, birds including humans.
Not all humans or animals have equal level and standards of memory. It varies from one another but it becomes an important aspect for students undergoing some formal education, employees, scientists etc.
Every person has certain level or standards of memory and this may decline with age and other factors like diseases, stress, pollution etc.
A person with good memory has a competitive advantage over his lesser counter parts. So a desire to improve memory is common among many people.
What is memory and where is it in the brain:
Like many other complex phenomenon of the brain, memory is not completely understood. Yet it is found to be happening in the hippo-campus of the brain. When ever memory happens, there is consolidation of matter in the brain as a function of memory.As the consolidation of the matter loosens ,the memory gets vanished slowly. So overall it implies two things
a) Memory is present in the brain so keep it safe i.e avoid head injury or infection or disorders (like Alzheimer’s etc).
b) Consolation of the matter related to brain slowly loosens, so keep the process slow. This we can do it by reducing the stress, adequate sleep, nutrition, fresh air as brain depends on glucose and fresh air for its activity.
How memory happens: Factors influencing it.
In daily life we notice memory happens in almost every instance of life. But there are variations like
Importance: The more the important is the information, the stronger is memory i.e. it is recalled frequently and also remains for long as a memory.
Like and dislike; These are prime factors in most cases. An information is remembered for long either if you like it or dislike it. For an instance, the memory of a beautiful picture or scenery is remembered for long. While those without like or dislike or remembered for short time.
Fear or disgust: If there is something which causes fear or irritation, there is longer memory of the information involved.
Age: We seem to have a lot of memories of our childhood. This is possible due to growth in the body and the entire system of brain is fully active with regards to physiology and memory processing. In old age the system slows down with regards to nutrition to the brain and excretion from the brain and the nerves involved are worn out.
Nutrition: Brain is highly active organ in the body. It requires ample supply of glucose, oxygen for proper function. So having regular diet and taking slow and steady breaths gives sufficient supply of glucose and oxygen to the brain and there by memory improvement.
Though nerves do not grow or multiply, the surrounding cells supporting neurons are engaged in multiplication and growth. These support the functioning of nerves so essential nutrition like amino acids through protein diet and fats are necessary in diet. Brain is made to a large extent by fat material. Hence fatty acids including omega type are essential for nourishment of brain.
Pollution: Especially air pollution has drastic effects on memory. Though brain is encased in a highly impermeable membrane, still gaseous molecules like CO2, CO etc can pass by being dissolved in blood and can cause brain cell damage. It has been shown in some scientific studies that students residing in highly air polluted areas have less memory than those in non-polluted areas.
How to improve memory:
Improving memory is easier but comes with practise. Some simple methods to improve memory.
Attention (i.e concentrate): Memory mainly depend on attention. The more the attention towards an incident or speech, the higher is memory consolidation. This you can do by planning of what you want to do and also improve it by meditation, prayer like concentration techniques. Another way is reading books, while reading books try to see how long you read the paragraph or page in the book with complete attention. Tick with a pencil at the point of word at which you lost attention. If you repeat it, your attention will improve as your try to cover more words with attention.
Ex: Have you ever seen that you locked your room or your car etc and tried to see again and again if you did it perfectly? This is due to lack of memory for the action due to lack of attention. Some thoughts might be running in your mind distracting you and hence you were not able to focus..
Exercise: Exercise regularly help one to have active body physiology which is need for healthy mind due to proper blood circulation to brain for nutrition and carriage of waste matter. Exercise also reduces stress and help you have composed mind.
Breathing fresh air: Try to stay in place with low air pollution. Habituate any breathing exercises. This help provides sufficient oxygen to brain and also helps burn out any unused calories in the brain. Respiration is a good body detoxifier.
Have plenty of water: This helps in two ways. Brain has no direct blood supply to provide nutrition. It happens by a fluid called as cerebro-spinal fluid which is exclusively in the ducts of the brain providing nutrition, oxygen and also removing the waste from brain. This cerebro-spinal fluid depends on water concentration in the body for its formation . Decrease in water content of the body directly decrease CSF fluid volume in brain and creates deficiency in supply to brain. This happening on long stand can damage the brain cells and there by memory.
Transport or journey to school or college: Try to avoid long journeys through traffic daily. If you need to go to school located at long distance from your home use the school bus service. This may help decrease exposure to traffic pollution.