Quick question, do you have a specific objective or aspect of your memory you’d like to improve?
Maybe it remembers faces, names, information, it’s all part of the fascinating part of the human body called the brain. The great thing about memory training is the more you do it, the better you get, and the more motivation you have to do more.
For me, in addition to memory exercises, I take brain boosters, that’s a personal choice and not something you have to do. I like them simply because they’ve allowed me to proceed that much faster.
When you begin to feel and experience your memory getting better, faster, more complete, you’ll start to see improvement in other areas of your life also.
For a moment, just relax, let all the cares and trouble of the days just fade away. Imagine you have perfect recall. Any piece of information you need is instantly available. There are no frustrating or embarrassing moments, you are in total control of your mind and every situation you encounter.
If you see a familiar face, you immediately know their name. The expression, “I forgot”, is not longer part of your vocabulary. You remember your best friend’s birthday, your anniversary, your wife’s favorite flower, your bills are paid on time. You are the envy of all that know you and wonder how you are so organized.
You’ll never again say, “Where did I put the keys?” or “Where is my wallet, glasses, you simply see exactly where they are in your mind, in your memory.
Never will you enter a room, drive a car or make a phone call and experience a moment of bewilderment about who you’re calling, or why you came into the room. Your mind is sharp; your recall is instant, your power of recall is legendary.
When you meet someone new and are given a name and phone number, you will retain that information for later recall. You may commit it to permanent memory or short-term memory till it’s recorded in your contacts, it’s your decision how your mind works and what you commit to memory.
There will never again be a nagging question of, “Did I take my medication?”, you’ll know exactly when you took it, how much you took and when is your next scheduled dose.
When you leave for a trip, there will be no nagging doubt about leaving the stove on, or locking the front door; you will know without the doubt the stove is off and the door locked.
Wrotomg down a grocery list is unnecessary unless you desire, you carry the list in your mind for instant recall, checking off items as you get them. For a moment you wonder, “Why do I even make a list, I don’t need them”? Perhaps it’s a quaint memory of your childhood; it doesn’t matter, do them, don’t do them, it’s your choice.
You’re up-to-speed on current events and what happened in today’s news is in the forefront of your mind. When you sit to drink coffee with friends, you often lead the conversation since people turn to you for the latest news, knowing, while perhaps wondering, “How in the heck does he know all that?”
Studying for school is no longer a chore, your reading comprehension has improved dramatically, and when it’s time for a quiz, you never dread the taking, instead you know in advance you’ll pass with flying colors.
You’re the life of the party, remembering all the best jokes and warming up the crowd for an evening of fun and frolic. Party organizers ask if you’ll tell a story, or entertain the crowd to get things moving in the right direction. You accept the task with merriment, knowing the latest and greatest infomating from TV, social media, and living life.
Public speaking doesn’t scare you, in fact, you look forward to delivering information to your peers, knowing they’ll be hanging on every word. And should a tough question arise from the audience, you’ll ponder it for a moment, then answer with skill, knowledge and public speaking skills.
More than anything you feel good about life, confident in your abilities and ready to walk forward into the future. One day you notice it seems your creativity and concentration have improved and you’re better able to complete tasks on time and with enhanced quality. While before you didn’t seem to be musically inclined, now you find yourself taking up an instrument or painting a landscape. You’re more engaged with life and desire to reach out beyond the norm and experience life to the fullest.
There are few areas of life you don’t find interesting, and in any area you find yourself lacking, this is easily cured with online education or reading a textbook, or engaging in a deep conversation with peers. You’ve broken through the glass ceiling and realize there are no limits, only life and you intend to live it to the fullest
Have you ever met someone, then weeks later you met them again, and try as hard as you can, you can’t remember their name? I know I have and it’s worse if they remember yours. You stumble with “Hey Man,” or some such, but inwardly you are desperately searching for the connection. Not to worry, it happens to all of us.
Continuous Partial Attention (CPA)
The reason this happens is because of CPA, continuous partial attention. The term, coined in the 1990s, deals with how all us deal with the endless flood of information presented to us on a daily basis. Think about it, the Internet, social media, Smartphones and more, we are literally flooded with new data every second of every day. Our continuous partial attention/CPA is operating in overdrive. Small things, like the name of the person we just met, is pushed into the background, or down the list, much as our email is pushed down as a new email arrives. Our Smartphones can certainly help, but often they’ll remind us to do something, like call Fred, and when the notice arrives, we think, “Now who was Fred, and what did he want?”
This is a form of mental stress and often it manifests itself in multiple ways, increased blood pressure, anxiety, or often memory loss.
I was willing and eager to take brain supplements like Adderin, but I was also looking for a set of brain exercises that could help the process. Presented below are three simple steps that if done regularly, particularly while taking brain supplements, have proven to help with memory.
Don’t worry. We’re not talking about joining a monastery, just a few minutes a day helps immensely. If you can find just a few moments each day to simply unplug from everything you have the time to improve your mind and memory.
NOTE: This means turning off the phone, unplugging the Internet, or at least leaving them in one room, while you meditate in another.
Here’s a typical scenario, yours may vary. Should you have an important meeting coming up, shortly before the meeting sit quietly and close your eyes. Take a deep breath, hold it for a moment, then exhale slowly and completely. As you exhale, begin to focus your attention on groups of muscles, your toes, calves, thighs, working your way up to your forehead and then relax those muscles. Gently tense the muscles, then relax, relax completely as you breath out, then move to the next muscle group.
By doing this, we are doing much more than simply relaxing; we are teaching the mind to focus your attention and let go of stress.
Focus and Framing
The relaxation exercise we did in step 1 helps prime the body to focus which is the primary element of a good memory. Think of a camera, have you every taken a picture while moving the camera? It came back blurry, your mind is much the same when you focus you are providing the tools needed to capture a sharp, clear image.
This isn’t the holy grail, this is a step in the process, just like brain boosters are also a step. In today’s world, even if we’re quiet and focused, the amount of data streaming past us is enormous. That’s where framing enters the equation.
If you’ve followed step 1, your mind is relaxed and open to suggestion and ready to pay attention. Now put a meaningful frame around the task, this gives it meaning, more than just a simple exercise.
When the mind is relaxed and focused, then meeting someone new can happen in an entirely different way. Look the person in the eye, form a mental image of their face, create a visual image for the name, then lilnk them for instant recall later.
Don’t be, simply think of something you already know and link the face and name to it. If it’s a woman whose name is Lisa, think of her face on the Mona Lisa painting. If the name is Mr. Eves, picture him hanging off the eve of a building, or wearing a Santa suit on Christmas eve. Use your imagination and over time you’ll get better and better and the next you see that person, you instantly know their name.
Prospective Review Time
Faces and names aren’t the only memory problem we face. Remembering to take your medicine, or bring an important file to a meeting, or pay a bill, etc.
“A major problem people have is with what we call prospective memory,” says Dr. Small. Prospective memory is the ability to recall that you need to do something in the future. “You leave the house and you forget your phone or the file you need for a meeting.”
This exercise is different, it’s called overcoming prospective memory loss and focuses on memory habits, i.e. putting your keys in the same place, keeping your medicine on the kitchen counter so you’ll remember to take it. Those are memory places, useful if you have a daily routine that takes you out of the house, but what about those of us who live in the virtual world, is there hope for us?
Yes, instead of memory places, which we’ll all likely continue to use, there is prospective review times.
At the same time of day (we’ll say 8am), check your Smartphone calendar and go through their appointments thinking about what they’ll need for them.
This may be a struggle at first, but continuing with the program will make it a mental habit, triggering your mind to review upcoming events. You’ll find you are more in control of your time, environment and memory.
While these three exercises may seem like a lot to do each day, make a commitment to do them for 30 days. If you do that, you’ll find they only take a few minutes each day, in fact, they’ll save you time and make your life, memory, and motivation, so much better.
There are multiple supplements on the market with claims of boosting brain power, but do they work?
Of course, it depends on the supplement, but the short answer is yes, it’s certainly possible. Adderin, for instance, has proven effective in increasing IQ, boosting performing, increasing focus and promoting overall good health, using all natural ingredients.
We know that athletes are concerned about performing at peak profanely, so they’ll eat healthily, get plenty of rest and yes, take supplements. It’s much the same when it comes to your brain. To date no pill turns you into an instant Einstein like you see in the movies, so what are the benefits of brain boosters?
Brain Boosters – What Are They?
It’s no surprise that if we eat right, we’re healthier than if we consistently eat junk food. Or bodies crave certain vitamins and minerals to operate at peak levels and the brain is no different. There are nutrients that give you clarity of mind, increase alertness, increase focus, concentration and memory. People who regularly take brain supplements (and live a healthy lifestyle) will notice they begin to feel more focused, more alert and are better able to process information.
NOTE: While brain booster may appear to stimulate the brain, they are not by themselves, stimulants like caffeine, ephedrine, or amphetamines are. It is not always known how these nutrients help the brain simply that they have done so over centuries and their ingredients have been passed down through the generations.
Herbs are naturally occurring substances, and while they may be processes, they likely contain multiple compounds, while a drug like amphetamine will concentrate only on one specific thing. Because of this, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which one particular part of the compound is affecting the change.
FACT: There will always be controversy concerning the viability of brain boosters, with some swearing by them, while others say they have no effect.
Herbs for Thought
One tried and true herb, that has stood the test of time is Ginkgo biloba, derived from the leaf of the Ginkgo tree, native to China with documented medicinal properties dating back thousands of years.
Ginkgo has been shown to have positive effects when treating Alzheimer’s and other age-related mental issues.
Ginkgo works, so researchers believe, by thinning the blood and improving oxygen flow to the brain. And since the brain requires a constant of oxygen and nutrients, even a slight slowing of blood and oxygen, could have measurable effects.
FACT: A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology showed that ginkgo improved attention. A 2001 study showed it improved memory.
CAUTION: Always seek the advice of your doctor or health care professional before beginning any dietary regimen.
Huperzine-A is another herb of Chinese origin that has beneficial properties for your brain. Huperzine is derived from the moss the Chinese Huperzia seratta and has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
The herb also has the potential to work as a supercharger for the brain.
FACT: A study in China showed that Huperzine-A improved memory and the ability to learn.
Huperzine-A does something very interesting, and it blocks a particular enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Its simply common sense, if the neurotransmitter isn’t working right, your brain won’t be either. Thus, if we block that enzyme, we’re helping the process with more acetylcholine staying in the brain which improves memory.
FACT: Neuro-Transmitters carry information across synapses in the brain. These are the spaces between brain cells.
There are also foods, beyond herbs that contain the nutrients your brain craves. A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acid (found in fish oil)m, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown essential to an infant’s brain as it develops and also works to boost brain power.
FACT: The lining of our brains cells are rich in concentrated fatty acids, in particular, DHA.
FACT: A diet rich in DHA has been shown to improve the ability to learn. Conversely, a lack of DHA can cause the brains to operate inefficiently and be a detriment to learning, memory, and focus.
Acetyl-L-carnitine helps to maintain brain cells. It has been shown to positively affect brain power in those who have Alzheimer’s and mild memory loss. Further, individual studies have shown evidence of improved focus, alertness, and motivation, often in a very short period of time.
DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol), another natural occurring compound that alters the levels of acetylcholine, as with Acetyl-L-carnitine, this can help memory, focus, alertness and motivation.
FACT: While it varies, most people will notice a marked difference within an hour or two. They’ll begin to notice they are thinking faster, focusing better and are more motivated to complete a task.
CAUTION: Just because it works, doesn’t mean a person should overdue their dosage. Taking too much can cause restlessness, irritability, and tension in the neck muscles.
Everything mentioned here are considered dietary supplements, not drugs. This means they are not subject to FDA imposed limitations. This simply mean that anyone considering a dietary supplement, particularly a brain booster, should research the company manufacturing the supplements and read the results.
It’s impossible to give an exact prediction of how a supplement will affect a particular person, as all of us are different.
CAUTION: No supplement will help if you are sleep deprived.
The very best brain booster is to live a healthy life, eat right, get plenty of exercises, then take Adderin to improve your cognitive functions.
Zapping Your Brain – Does it Work?
It’s been shown that small gentle electrical zaps to the brain have the potential to accelerate learning and provide an overall boost in performance. And while it may work across a wide range of brain functions, ti comes with a price. New studies reveal that, based on electrical zaps, while one area of the brain may be enhanced, a different area may be diminished.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not endorse electrical stimulation for two reasons.
1. These zaps must be performed in a controlled environment by a skilled medical professional.
2. I have no desire to do something that may affect different areas of my brain in different ways.
My recommendation is to use an all natural nootropic brain supplement, brand name Adderin.
There are researchers who study the brain exclusively, in particular, transcranial electrical stimulation, which is what we’re discussing. In these cases electrodes are placed on scalp and the electrical impulses are delivered via these electrodes with accuracy and precision.
These studies have shown that students and possibly everyday people can be cognitively enhanced in this manner. Current usage is limited to enhanced recovery for those with speech or movement issues from a stroke, while DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has considered it as a way to accelerate learning for their various intelligence projects.
FACT: Studies have been very positive with these methods; it is only recently that detrimental side-effects may have been noticed.
Neuropsychologist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico offered, “This is the first paper to my knowledge to show a cost associated with the gains in cognitive function,”. Dr. Jung was not associated with the study.
Obviously, if you’re reading this you’re interested in improving the power of your brain, not simply in cognitive enhancement, but the memory, stamina, focus and the ability to learn and grasp new ideas.
It’s not practical, or even commercially feasible to have electrodes implanted on your scalp, not to mention the cost.
However, there is a way to train the brain to better understand ideas, grasp new concepts, focus for longer periods and eliminate fatigue and it’s found in all natural ingredients, 100 percent safe and available to anyone. It’s called Adderin and I encourage you to learn more and let your potential be truly limitless.
In essence, Adderin makes our brains work better. That isn’t done with any harsh chemical or invasive surgery, but natural ingredients that improve certain areas of your brain that affect concentration, memory, and focus.
A few of the ingredients contained in Adderin are vinpocetine, Alpha GPC, and huperzine A.
VINPOCETINE is extracted from the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). It has a lengthy history of use as a tonic, particularly to ward off weariness as a person ages.
ALPHA-GPC is a found in fatty acids in soy and other plants and has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. In European countries, it is a prescription based and used for to treat Alzheimer’s. In the U.S. Alpha-GPC is available as a dietary supplement and works to improve memory.
HUPERZINE A is derived from the plant Chinese club moss. While it begins as a plant, there is extensive laboratory work done to purify the substance into the form utilized in Adderin.
NOTE: While Adderin may sound like Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat ADD and ADHD, they are completely separate with Adderin being an all natural dietary supplement.
HEALTH NOTE: Always discuss any medical issue with your doctor or health care professional before making any major decisions.
How Exactly Does Adderin Work?
Adderin allows you to increase your brain power, reduce fatigue while boosting focus. It is ideal for anyone interested in increasing their mental acuity, no matter age or station.
Adderin accomplishes this by providing your body with a combination of nootropic ingredients known to be beneficial to the brain.
NOOTROPIC SUPPLEMENTS: Works to increase cognitive functions while offering overall health benefits.
The ingredients are as follows:
- Alpha GPC
- Bacopa monnieri
- Huperzine A.
Are there Any Side Effects?
We’re happy to say there is no reported negative side effect to using Adderin. The supplement is all natural and formulated to be safe and efficient.
CAUTION: A few users have mentioned a slight headache or nausea during the first few days of usage. This may or not be caused by the supplement, but in all reported cases, they symptoms diminished after several days and were minor in nature.
You can feel confident that Adderin is a safe and reliable supplement empty of any negative impact. It is recommended for healthy adults over 18 and should not be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing.
Who Needs Adderin?
Anyone and everyone who wishes to increase their mental acuity, clarity, and focus.
It’s the information age and the net is full of goodies to distract us.
We’ll get an email or stumble across interesting articles and wham, minutes turn to hours and we wonder where the time went. I’m as guilty as anyone, but lately, my ability to focus has increased and that one thing has changed my life.
Not long ago, I found it tough to focus on a single task without bouncing over to check email, visiting Facebook or catching a fav on NetFlix. I was hopeless and accomplished little, but that was then, and this is now. Now I can sit for hours and focus on the task. With hardly any effort I can clear away the cobwebs and center my mind on a goal, then work tirelessly till its accomplished.
It may not sound spectacular, but for me, my life was changed. I’d become immersed in my work and with that immersion came increased creativity, better work and overall I felt more satisfied with life. As I worked, I’d enter a meditative, transforming state-of-mind. Stress would decrease, blood pressure lowered and I was quite literally, given a new lease on life.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am on a daily regimen of Adderin, an all natural brain supplement. It is not required to see improvment, but it will aid the process, at least it has for me.
Focus is something a lot of people struggle with, which is why I wanted to share a few secrets. There isn’t just one path to focus; it’s much more a process. I’m going to share what’s worked for me; hopefully, you’ll find some of these tips useful.
- Close your browser and email program, in this step we want to eliminate distractions. If you’re working inside a browser, close any unnecessary tabs or windows.
- Turn off any notifications that may interrupt your concentration. You don’t want a sound playing, or voice indicating you’ve got new tweets or email. That’s going against the flow and there is no sense making the task more difficult.
- If possible, turn off the Internet, shut down your router or go somewhere the net (or Wi-Fi) doesn’t reach.
- Close any programs not needed for this task.
- Have an important task in mind. Not a simple one like, “check email,” an important one like, “read the white paper”, “write the chapter for the novel,” etc.
- Clear your desk. We’re not speaking of spring cleaning, just getting rid of the clutter. If it’s too difficult, put it all in a box to sort later.
- If you’re in a noisy environment, wear headphones and play soothing music. My favorite is listening to a thunderstorm.
- Don’t get bogged down with the latest software, use what you need to use, save the bells and whistles for another time.
Once you created your environment, based on the steps mentioned above, set your mind to this one single task. Don’t Alt. tab to another, stick with this one thing before moving to the next.
Finding that difficult? Read on…
Increasing Your Ability to Focus
If you feel the calling to switch from one thing to another, don’t lose heart, that 21st-century tech that’s trained your brain. We’re taught to move fast and jump from one task to another, so you’re in good company. When we check Facebook or Twitter or a blog update, we’re rewarded with a nugget of stimulation, a shiny object (hey, someone sent me an instant message, wow). That’s new and interesting and it does, or should offer positive feedback. That’s a tough cycle to break when you’re only doing a single task.
What we’re going to do is set-up a positive feedback cycle that rewards us for our focus. Sound cool? It is, here’s how to implement.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tzu
Focus for one minute only. Clear away everything and FOCUS intently on the task for one minute. Pick your most important task and focus on it without switching screens. Even this one minute may seem difficult at first, but as you focus it becomes easier and easier.
When this is accomplished…
The reward should be in keeping with the task, i.e., check email or Facebook (or you chose social media platform) for 30 seconds. Better yet, get up out of your chair and stretch, maybe take a brief walk, drink some water, massage your neck, enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Simply repeat the process for an hour or so and your focus will have increased, not to mention your task will be pushed forward. You’ve setup a positive reinforcement feedback, one you can build on by increasing your focus time in small increments.
Tomorrow aims for two minutes of focus, with one-minute breaks. Continue taking baby steps and increasing your focus time, I’m sure you see the pattern, simply a little bit more each day.
Day one and two we’ve covered, the information below begins on day three.
3 minutes of focus, one minute of free time (done two or three times per day)
4 minutes of focus, one minute of free time (done two or three times per day)
5 minutes of focus, one minute of free time (done two or three times per day)
Increase your time daily till you get to ten minutes.
10 minutes of focus, TWO minutes of free time (done two or three times per day)
Increase your time daily till you get to twenty minutes.
20 minutes of focus, THREE minutes of free time (done two or three times per day)
Increase your time daily till you get to thirty minutes. At thirty minutes you’ve earned a 5-minute break. Once you’ve successfully reached 30 minutes, you can remain at this level or increase at your own rate.
When you set-up this positive cycle you’ll effectively reverse the years of mental training given us by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and countless other platforms. You’ll find you’re getting more done and it will seem effortless, in fact, once you’ve done it awhile, almost meditative.
I do recommend checking out Adderin, it helps the overall process. Again, you can do it without the supplement, but it’s so much easier with, I’m not sure why you’d want to.
Let me start off by making this as clear as I possibly can, it is possible to increase your intelligence and there is research to prove it.
For a long time, the prevailing view has been that increasing your intelligence was impossible. It was believed that your IQ along with most mental capabilities was largely by genetic factors, and although it could be influenced by a stimulating environment while growing up, once you reached adulthood it was locked into place, only to gradually decline with age.
Neuroscience research from the last two decades has shown that this is not the case. What these scientists have discovered is that the brain can grow new cells and reconfigure itself when confronted with new challenges, this is known as neuroplasticity.
Below are some of the proven methods to increase IQ:
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (often abbreviated as tDCS) is based on the idea that you can stimulate specific areas within the brain by passing a small electric current across the area using non-invasive electrically conducting pads placed on the scalp. Crucially there are robust safety protocols which show the practice is entirely safe.
The technique was developed to help patients who had experienced a stroke, brain injury or suffered from learning difficulties. More recent research in healthy adults has shown the technique can also be used to enhance cognitive performance.
By directing the current to specific regions of the brain, participants were able to gain improvements in a diverse range of areas including; maths ability, problem solving, languages, attention/focus, coordination, and memory.
In case you haven’t heard of them before Nootropics are any drugs, supplements or regular foods that improve mental functioning. Now these can be as simple as Omega-3 rich oily fish like Salmon, or those student food favorites like Walnuts and Blueberries which are full of essential brain beneficial vitamins. And if you’re looking to give your body the basic building blocks it needs for neurogenesis (growing new brain cells and neural connections) these are a must have.
However, there are several pharmaceutical products available that can also increase mental functioning, either by improving synaptic plasticity or by increasing the production of key neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and acetylcholine.
It is worth remembering that any pharmacologically active drug can have unwanted side effects. If you are considering using any of these to improve your IQ you should discuss this with a doctor first.
There is a very comprehensive list of nootropic drugs available on the ‘Nootropics’ Wikipedia page so I won’t bother repeating it here.
Cognitive Training Exercises
When most of us think of increasing our IQ, simple ‘brain training’ style exercises you can do at home is what you have in mind. Many companies have promoted various brain training software, however, in the vast majority of cases, these games are not effective at increasing IQ, only at increasing your ability to play that specific game.
Fortunately, there are several researched exercises which have been shown to give real, lasting, transferrable rising in working memory, fluid intelligence, and IQ scores.
The Dual N-Back exercise is one such technique. In a 2008 study by Jaeggi et al at the University of Michigan titled Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory, the Dual N-back exercise was shown to give ‘dose dependent’ improvements in fluid intelligence. Dose-dependent just means the more the participants used the technique, the bigger improvements they got.
In a nutshell, this is how the N-back exercise works. You are presented with a series of letters one after another and must identify when the current letter is identical to one that was already presented a certain number of items ago in the series. This number is the ‘N’ in N-back So let’s say you were presented with this series below and were looking for matches that were 2-back:
Q S T S R T H
The second time you saw the letter S you would say it appeared two steps ago (2-back).
The Dual N-back works on exactly the same principle only it is slightly more challenging. This time instead of only one series to keep track of you have two. First the series of letters as above, and a the same time a series of spatial locations on a 3×3 grid.
If you manage to keep track of both series at least 80% of the time the exercise increases ‘N’ by one, and you go to the 3-back level. If you don’t score at least 40% then ‘N’ reduces by one. By continually adapting to your performance the game keeps you working at the edge of your ability, ensuring your brain gets a good workout.
Full disclosure, I do these exercises while taking a brain booster called Adderin. You can read more about it by clicking the button below.