Ever struggle to remember…? Um, remember facts in the short term? Me either. Kidding. If you’re one of those people who has to check addresses, access codes, and prices twice, you’re not alone — 1 in 9 U.S. adults over 45 report memory issues.
Short-term memory, otherwise known as active memory, refers to anything from within 30 seconds to several days. Short term memory primarily takes place in the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex.
Short-term memory loss or weakness can come from a diverse pool of factors. Some are medically induced, while others can occur from injury or other outside circumstances. More severe cases include the aftereffect of a brain aneurysm, tumors, head trauma, and cancer.
Here are some brain games sure to exercise and strengthen your short-term memory.
1. Memorizing Your Shopping List
Most people write down their shopping lists, be it in digital or on a piece of paper. Challenge your short-term memory, but not only remembering the list itself but the order as well. You can do this by creating mental stories that incorporate the items on the list in chronological order.
For example, if the first item is milk, and the second is cereal, imagine serving your cereal in the morning. This technique employs the use of mnemonics, which can help to strengthen short-term memory.
2. Jigsaw Puzzles
The colors and shapes in jigsaw puzzles are particularly stimulating to short-term memory. They also require a clicking motion to proceed, which can help to trigger the production of dopamine. This aids in concentration. Puzzles can be a great way to stimulate your brain.
3. The Suitcase Game
Recruit a group of friends or family to play this one. One person states they are packing a suitcase and includes one item. The next person then does the same, and so on. Each person is responsible for remembering each item that came before. A player is out of the game if they omit a previously mentioned item.
Chess is an effective game to play once tolerance for other short-term memory games has been built. It requires the strategic use of short-term memory to analyze the game and proceed.
5. Hand-Eye Coordination Practice
Some examples of building hand-eye coordination need the use of short-term memory flexing. For example, if you hold your palms in front of you, facing upward; try raising the same fingers on each hand one at a time, at the same time. Then, do this backward. Then, randomize which one you’ll raise, alternating but maintaining that the same finger is raised on each hand. Do this for 30 seconds at a time.
Provided that you have not dealt with a chronic injury to the brain, these games will help to aid your short-term memory function in no time.