Brain Training for Overcoming Memory Block
Do you ever find yourself struggling to remember a name or date you should know? One moment it's in your head—the next it's gone.
That rather frustrating experience is known as a memory block. It's the temporary inability to retrieve a memory, and it happens to everyone. Students can often feel this mental block while taking a test, employees can get it in the middle of a presentation, and grandparents can experience it when trying to remember their third grandchild's birthday.
Memory blocks are common, but they're also preventable. So if you'd like to reduce your tip-of-the-tongue moments, read on to discover how a memory block works, what causes it, and how brain training can help you learn and practice overcoming mental blocks.
The Science Behind Memory Block: Definition and Function
Memory block occurs when your brain is unable to recall information or experiences that you have previously learned or gone through. Imagine that your brain is a cupboard. You reach in, confident of what's there, but with a memory block, you come out empty-handed.
As unhelpful as they may be, memory blocks do serve an important function. They can help you sort through both your short-term and long-term memories and protect yourself against unpleasant or even traumatic memories. Consider how crowded the cupboard of your brain would be if you remembered everything all of the time.
Your brain needs to block off some memories in order to preserve what's most helpful and efficient; thereby creating memory blocks. But unfortunately, these mental blocks can also happen at inopportune times.
Causes of Memory Block: Identifying the Underlying Factors
While ill-timed memory blocks happen to everyone, there are several factors that can increase how often they arise. At the top of the list is your mental health. Stress is a common cause of memory block, but any strong emotion, from frustration to sadness, can impact the brain's ability to recall information.
The simple truth is that you're not able to perform at your cognitive best when you're not feeling your best. So pay attention to your emotions and what feelings come up for you throughout the day. And if you'd like some support with this, check out the Balance app, which is free for your entire first year.
Another factor that contributes to memory block is your physical health, specifically your quality of sleep and the level of nutrition in your diet. It's pretty intuitive: When you're exhausted or under-nourished, you don't have enough energy to focus on a task at hand or simple memory recall.
Age also is a factor of memory block. As you age, your cognitive function naturally declines. That's just part of aging. However, research shows that training cognitive skills can improve brain function and slow the progression of declining cognitive ability.
Benefits of Brain Training for Enhanced Cognitive Function
Studies show that brain training games can have a positive impact on both attention and memory functions, meaning that overcoming mental blocks can be as simple as pushing play.
Brain training games are designed to challenge the brain in an engaging way. They do this by improving cognitive function in a way that's actually fun—with games, challenges, and achievements to earn.
With the Elevate app, you can access 40+ brain training games created in collaboration with experts in neuroscience and cognitive learning and based on extensive scientific research. And Elevate even has an entire memory training category with five games specifically dedicated to improving your memory skills.
Tips and Techniques for Overcoming Memory Block
The most effective way to overcome memory block is to make smart brain choices a part of your everyday routine. That means paying attention to your physical and mental health, as well as creating daily habits that support good sleep, stress management, and healthy eating.
Another tip is to think of memory blocks as, well, blocks in a wall. When your mind feels blocked in this way, think about what you can do to break the block. For example, movement is a wonderful way to shake things up, break through, and get a bit of mental clarity. You can take a short walk, do a little dance, or simply get up and move to a different room.
Finally, one of the best ways to overcome memory block is to make cognitive training a habit. You can do just that when you get started with Elevate. The app's fully personalized program is designed to fit right into your daily routine. It features quick 5-minute brain workouts and specific memory-training games that can help you stay sharp.
Start Strengthening Your Memory Skills
Memory block can be frustrating, but when you experience it, know that you're not alone. It happens to everyone. And there are practical things you can do to strengthen your memory skills.
Aside from taking care of your physical and mental health, consider making memory skill training a daily habit. With the Elevate app, you'll get personalized brain training workouts, plus 40+ games backed by science and designed to improve your vocabulary, mental math, memory skills, and more.
- Learn what brain training is, its benefits, and how you can easily get started training your brain.
- Mnemonics can boost your memory and enrich your vocabulary. Learn how to apply them in your everyday life.
- Learn the differences between working memory and short-term memory and tips for improving them.