Why Having A Good Memory Is Important For Your Brain Health

Health 26 August, 2019

Though you aren’t conscious of the fact, you’re constantly using your memory. From the day we’re born, the ability to remember is what facilitates the learning process. Imagine all the information we receive and store in our brain as we grow, attend school, and train for jobs. No matter how big or small an action may be, it always incorporates what we remember from our past. Even when we may not have encountered a situation before, we can draw on our experience to work through the challenge. This problem-solving ability is a direct result of being able to manipulate our memories. Typing, reading, or comprehending the spoken word are all examples of ongoing activities where you can’t always anticipate what you’ll write, study, or hear, but you have all the tools to communicate.

Oddly enough, even with this reliance on recall, there has been a push to downplay the role of rote memorization in schools in recent years. As younger generations make their way through the myriad of experimental curricula that emphasize a sense of wonder and inquiry, there’s a debate on how effective these techniques really are, as the United States falls woefully behind compared to other developed nations. Can critical thinking alone, without the benefit of the memorization skills that proved so invaluable in getting us through our formative years, keep our minds sharp?

Epics like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey were passed down orally for centuries before they were finally recorded. Memorization was essential for these storytelling traditions. Much of what scholars know about ancient history has stemmed from accounts that were originally passed down for generations before the advent of writing.

Progress and technology have certainly made life easier and allowed us to keep much more information around for posterity. However, has society finally reached critical mass when it comes to our overreliance on information technology? The problem is more than not having to remember phone numbers anymore because they are stored in directories on our devices. Is it affecting our ability to think and our memory?

Memorization is a powerful tool to help keep your mind focused. As a lack of concentration and distraction continues to plague the young and old alike, memory loss is on tap to become more widespread down the road. Memorization also promotes ongoing learning, which is evident from the early stages of our lives. Every day wasn’t a blank slate, but rather an opportunity to build on what we had already learned. Similarly, storing information allows you to build up a knowledge base that you can continually leverage, so you can learn, understand, and employ new material more quickly. You aren’t merely trying to retain useless facts so you can beat all your friends at trivia games. Your brain will continually work to connect the data you’re housing and apply it when needed.

Exercising your brain keeps it performing at peak levels. It needs to be continually challenged to function optimally. While you may not be able to completely prevent some degree of memory loss, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your mind active. For example, supplements can become a source of enhanced focus when you’re trying to improve your cognitive abilities. Understanding the role memory plays in your life should help you prioritize habits that will nurture your mind.