Ten (10) Ways to Optimize Your Memory

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Practice makes perfect when it comes to just about anything – including your memory. Developing techniques to hone your recall of everything from names and phone numbers to more complex processes can make a world of difference.
1. Focus
We all struggle with staying focused in our daily lives thanks to endless distractions. Many are great at multi-tasking, and it gets all the praise, but it can detract from everything, including memory. Meditation is one the greatest tools to practice in order to improve your focus.
Start with 5 minutes a day, preferably first thing in the morning (after you have your morning water and use the restroom ,of course). Sit with closed eyes, and your back straight, and focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Breath in for a count of 5, breath out for a count of 5. You will find this to be very relaxing. Just follow your breath, and this will begin to train your brain to focus like a laser beam. This powerful practice will be able to be carried with you more and more throughout the day, as your practice is developed.
2. Organize and categorize
This works best if you have a list of things to remember. Breaking up the list into categories and fitting each piece into one of those categories allows for greater recollection when you need it. When you need to find information in a book, typically you look at the index or table of contents. You probably have a series of files on your computer or on your desk. Compartmentalizing that which you have to remember can work in a similar fashion.
3. Cut back on alcohol
Here’s where moderation is the key. You don’t have to completely cut out alcohol, but you know those mornings where the night before is kind of fuzzy? Well you’re not just impacting your memory for that one specific event. You could be doing permanent damage.
4. Use visualization
Visualization can be a powerful tool for all sorts of things, including memory. Instead of just trying to remember that you have to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, actually envision yourself driving there, walking to the counter and being handed the prescription. The more elaborate your visualization, the better your recall of the information will be.
5. Word association
This is a great technique to use to remember names. Memorizing some of the symbols on the Periodic Table of Elements, for example, can be a challenge. Lead is Pb and is based on the Latin root word for lead: Plumbum. Thinking of a word association (especially one that’s kind of humorous or unique) can help. For example, “I’m plum out of lead.” I thought of that word association that I learned many years ago. I’ve never forgotten it.
6. Repeat, repeat, repeat
Thanks to technology, we hardly have to remember phone numbers. But what happens when you do? A dead phone battery and no pen or paper to write it down means you’ll have to rely on your memory (maybe). Repetition seems obvious and simplistic. It is, but it works.
7. Tell a story
This is an instance where creativity can pay off. Suppose, for example, that you have to remember to pick up apples and milk from the store. You also have to go to the post office and stop at the veterinarian’s office for vitamins for your cat, Boots. A story to help you remember these things could be something like: “Boots was peppy after taking her vitamins. She decided to run all the way to the post office to mail her package. Luckily she took an apple for her journey. By the time she got home, she was so thirsty she drank an entire gallon of milk!” Silly? Absolutely! Memorable? You bet!
8. Mnemonics
You have probably made your acquaintance with Roy G. Biv as you learned about the visible color spectrum. When you learned the planets, you may have also learned that “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles.” Mnemonics are not just for grade school, those catchy/silly phrases can help you remember something more boring like grocery list. Trust me, they stick!
9. Chunking
There’s a reason that phone numbers and social security numbers are broken up the way they are. Our brain can store only about four to seven different items in our short-term memory. One way to get past this limit is to use a technique called chunking. When you’re given a long number to remember, the more chunking you can do, the more likely you are to recall the data. For example, if you need to remember 10271977, it would be easier to remember as 10-27-1977.
10. Physical activity
As you age, you can see changes in your physical self. There are also a number of cognitive changes happening. Similarly, as you work to improve yourself physically through exercise and activity, you improve cognitive function through physical movement as well.

source: geniusawakeningcom

The Best Brain Foods for Breakfast

Creating Better Students with Good Breakfast

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Everyone has probably heard the saying one time or another in their lives that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it’s the truth and especially important for growing children. Eating a healthy breakfast ensures children start the day off with proper nutrition to help them to be successful at school. Dozens of studies over the last sixty years have consistently shown that children who eat breakfast perform better academically than those who don’t.

This doesn’t mean feeding your children doughnuts or honey buns every morning, either. The types of food your kids eat is also very important. Certain foods can boost a child’s brain growth, and can improve memory and concentration. Once your child skips breakfast or they start to feel hungry because their breakfast did not last very long, it leads to other unhealthy choices throughout the day. Skipping breakfast decreases the ability to concentrate and do our best at school and work. How can your child get good grades at school if they are thinking about being hungry and not what the teacher is saying?

Breakfast is a priority in my house every day with my family. It gives us a chance to spend time together in the morning and gets us all off to a healthy start.

milk and yoghurt

Milk and yogurt: Dairy products are excellent sources of protein and B vitamins, which are both essential for the growth of the brain tissue and neurotransmitters. The protein and carbohydrates contained in dairy are also a source of energy for the brain.

sliced fruits
Fruit: Fruits contain powerful antioxidants and vitamins and minerals important for growing children. Studies have shown kids who eat berries regularly had improved memory. The nutrients contained in fruits will also keep brain cells strong and healthy.

flavored oats

Oats: Oats are one of my all time favorite breakfast foods and are also a great grain for the brain. Oats energizes kids and contains vitamins B, E, potassium, and zinc which help brain development and help the brain to function at full capacity. The fiber contained in oats (my kids love oatmeal) will also provide a lasting breakfast so your child will stay full longer.

peanut butter
Peanut butter: Peanut butter has 30 essential vitamins and minerals! It’s also a great source of protein, which is important for brain function as well as helping your children to stay full longer so they are able to concentrate. Did you know that 90% of households in the U.S. have peanut butter in their pantry? Talk about a convenient staple! Get creative and use it beyond just the traditional PBJ. Check out my recent appearance on The Daily Buzz where I talk about the benefits of peanut butter!

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Eggs: I can’t say enough great things about eggs. They are not only cheap, but are also a great source of protein and are very versatile. My kids like them scrambled, in omelets, hardboiled –the possibilities are endless. The choline found in eggs plays a big role in brain function and memory.

Start your children’s day (and your own day) off right by incorporating these foods into your daily breakfast routine. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

Source: healthline

The 10 most commonly confused homonyms

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Is the English language trying to trip people up? Because it sure seems that way. Otherwise, why in the world would someone have created homonyms?

You know homonyms. They’re those pesky words that sound alike, look alike, or (for the particularly cruel ones) do both. In fact, most of the time when people speak about homonyms, they are actually talking about two other distinct groups of words that both fall under the homonym umbrella—homophones and homographs.
Homophones are words that sound the same—hence the use of the suffix “phone,” which might make you think of a telephone. What do you do on a telephone? Talk and listen—things that have to do with sounds.
Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, and unfortunately I don’t have anything clever to say about “graph” to make the word clearer.
Just remember: same letters, different definition.Unfortunately for those who are trying to master English, homonyms aren’t going anywhere, so you have to be aware of them to make sure that you’re actually saying—and writing—what you mean.

To help you with this, we put together a list of ten words that people often confuse:
                      1. Compliment/Complement
• The first one is a flattering remark you might give to a student, friend, or loved one.
• The second refers to the way two things might work together to improve or complete something.
                      2. Sight/Site/Cite
• “Sight” is what you see with your eyes,
• whereas “site” is the physical (or digital, in the case of a website) place you are seeing.
• And “cite,” of course, is something you had better be doing for all of your sources in your term papers!
                     3. Do/Doe/Dough/D’oh
These words, pronounced “doh,” have a wide range of meanings.
• This “do” (completely different than the one above that is spelled the same) is a note you might see on                                   a  sheet of music,
• while “doe” refers to a female deer,
• “dough” is bread before it’s cooked or a slang term for money,
• and “d’oh” is what Homer Simpson says when he makes a mistake.
                   4. Do/Due
• These words, pronounced “doo,” can mean “to carry something out” (do)
• Due can refer to the time when something is scheduled to be completed or when someone is owed                                        something.
                   5. Here/Hear
                               “Do you hear us? We’re over here!”
• The first word denotes a specific location and means “this place, not that place.”
• “Hear,” on the other hand, is what you do with your ears and is also used to show strong agreement in                                   the phrase “Hear! Hear!” Now we’re getting to it.
                   6. There/Their
This terrible trifecta is one that even native speakers confuse, but it’s so common that you need to know it.
                   “There” has two uses:
 1. The first is as a way to indicate that something exists (e.g., there are bluebirds, or there is only                                      one president);
2.  The second is to describe a place that is not “here.”
                     • When you want to show that something belongs to others, you say that it is theirs.                                                                • And if more than one person is going to do something, you would say “they are” or its contraction,                                          “they’re.”

                  7. They’re Allowed/Aloud
• For the first one, you are permitted to do something;
• for the second, I can hear you doing it because it is audible.
                  8. Your/You’re/Yore
Right up there with, well, “there” are the various “your” words. Mostly, people tend to just confuse the                                       first two, but we added “yore” as a bonus. If somethingbelongs to you, it is yours. However, if you                                          are a bit peeved that someone stoleit, you might express that you’re furious—a way to shorten “you”                                      and “are.” And, finally, if all of this happened long, long ago, we could feasibly say that it happened                                        in days of yore.

                    9. To/Too/Two
• “To” means “headed towards” or “for” and is used before the infinitive of verbs.                                        Suzy might say, “I’m  going to the market.”

• If, in a total coincidence, Jane was also going to the market, she could reply, “I’m going too!”
• Or, if she believed Suzy visits the market excessively, she might say, “You go there too much!”
• And, finally, the pair or the two of them could go to the market together.It’s always embarrassing                                             when someone confuses these in written form.
                  10. Right/Write/Rite
• The first word refers to a direction (the opposite of left), points out that someone is correct,                                          or is a declaration of something to which you are entitled.
“Write,” on the other hand, is what I’m doing right now by putting words to paper—even                                             if  that  paper” is electronic.
• The final word refers to a ceremony or ritual—some might even say that learning and                                                       discerning homonyms is a rite of passage to becoming proficient in English.

Source : proof reading services.com