Introduction to the Memory Improvement Course
Memorization tires most of us. Admit it, we'd rather glance on our palm tops or organizers once in a while for convenience. Memorization is something we don't want to deal with for the rest of our lives although we deal with it in school because it's something we need to do.
Now that's just odd. When we need to do something, we tend to give our best shot at it. Why can't we do the same thing with our simple everyday activities?
One effective and interesting way of familiarization and memorization of objects at a particular time or event is to associate them with a journey. The place or location where the journey happens can be stationary but not you, the traveler. You should come across the entire set of objects which are available on the setting you have chosen.
We can set the movie house as an example for this memory improvement approach. Before you enter the movie house lobby, you purchase tickets for you and your friend. You know it's the ticket booth because you see people falling in line to buy their own tickets. Now, associate the elements you see with what you need to remember. Let's pretend that you need to buy grocery items after seeing a movie. Seeing the long line of moviegoers to the ticket booth is a start. You can make the line of moviegoers going to the ticket booth, purchase chunks of meat instead of tickets. After getting your own meat chunk from the ticket booth, you then proceed to the lobby where you can buy popcorn and drinks served by two food counter clerks. The first clerk is named Ms. Tomato while the other one is named Mr. Lettuce. One has a head like a tomato and the others head looks like lettuce. After ordering, you are then served by Ms. Tomato a bucket of cheese bars instead of pop corn and butter for drinks.
After you're satisfied with what you bought, you and your friend proceed to the movie theater and find yourselves a seat. Imagine the seats as giant apples. As you sit back and wait for the movie to start, picture the widescreen in front operated by four grocery clerks pulling the scenes with giant sausages stringed together from the projection screen to make the image move from one picture to another. Now that's one wild imagination to keep you on your toes to remember the grocery items you need. The funnier the story is, the higher chances of remembering each item clearly.
From that scenario alone, important objects on the location are observed. You associate the things you see with the location easily since it involves vision, sound, smell, taste, touch and Kinesthesia (or the awareness of body position). All of the strategic points mentioned make Journey System, another memory technique, an easier method in remembering things you need to remember and placing them in a known place for easier memorization - without any pressure.
Helpful Memory Aids For Memorization
For many centuries now, memory techniques have evolved in how they are used and learned by people. We all know that the process of remembering information is called 'mnemonics'. We also know that mnemonics isn't similar to magic tricks but due to its proven efficiency, it's considered a technique pertaining to memorization.
If you haven't realized yet how our memory works, a person's memory effectively functions to how it associates objects and information. But of course, what we need to practice at is how we focus on things and eventually associate or link them with other information that enable us to remember what we need to remember.
One way to remember things easily is to rhyme words. How do you think we're able to carry riddles and rhymes during our nursery years in school up to the later years of our lives? Just reading this question alone makes you remember one or two nursery rhymes you've learned, right? This also answers how toddlers are able to cope with what they learn in school at this very early stage of their lives. This is also the very reason why rhymes are considered as common memory aids.
Another effective memory technique is the use of initials or the first letter of the word. For example, for a group of items, you can take each first letter and make a word out of it. Remember ROY G. BIV? If you do, you'd know right away that this is not a name of a person but it stands for the seven colors of the rainbow - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Notice how you have easily recognized the initials? Now you're nodding.
You need not to make a name always out of the initials from a set of items. You can make a word or anything which can easily help you recognize the words equivalent to items. But in some cases, there might be too little number of vowels versus the consonants. Let's have the items pasta, rye, fish, cheese and table. Together they look like this: PRFCT. We can add the letter E in between the initials to make it a word; in this case, it can be read now as PERFECT. Of course, when you remember the word PERFECT, you'd easily recognize which item stands for each consonant. Simple? Yes.
Silly Stories For Memorization
You've heard about several memory enhancing techniques. Linking and associating, creating a story out of several items you need to remember. There are in fact, many ways how you can remember important information such as numbers, events, errands and names. The challenge is how to make all the information easy to retrieve, out of the top of your head in a random situation.
Memory techniques work on anything that you like to master. There are things you may need to work on in memorizing something for the first time but all information has techniques on how they can all be memorized. It just takes a lot of interest and enthusiasm to be able to absorb all the information we want to understand and remember.
Creating an absurd and outrageous story from a list of non-related items will do well enough to stick in your head. What else is that it stays there in your memory the way the story is created, the chronological order and even the positioning of the character! The fun part about this technique is that there's no limit to how you want to create the story and the sillier it is; the easier for you to remember it and the keywords that comprise it.
Now you'll say what if you need to memorize an entire chapter of items and information; surely you can't create a novel out of this. True. But in fact, what you can do to get around this problem is to break down all the information you need to remember. Try to put the related or similar items in one cluster and name it. Do the same with the rest. You can also create acronyms out of the clusters you have made and then, create a silly story using the acronyms or the cluster of words you've created.
Once you have this ready, you can then associate mental images with the story and each key word you've made. It has been proven that the imagination, especially when there's clear images associated with it works efficiently - efficient enough to be remembered.
Following these techniques for the first time may come a bit slower and difficult but practicing them can gradually increase your expertise over any memorization tasks.
Memorization Problems: Solved!
Have you ever had problems in remembering names, numbers, grocery items needed, and other little details such as the location where you placed your car keys this morning? The truth is, we all have our moments of forgetting little bits of information that matters at the exact moment we need them.
But did you know that memorization techniques boil down to two basic things? These are ways on how you focus your attention and create a meaning in correspondence to the information or object you store in your memory. With memory techniques, you encourage your mind to be creative while utilizing your innate memory skills.
One of the proven memory techniques known today is called the Link Method. As mentioned above, enhancing your memory skills require you to become creative and imaginative which are considered very strong memory boosters when exercised correctly.
Using the Link approach, it has been proven that an object associated to the next on the list is less confusing to do, not to mention the order of the information included are also memorized easier. The list of items to be memorized can easily be remembered no matter how irrelevant they are from one another. With continuous practice and diligence, Link Method allows you to remember things from the top of your head without getting stuck in frustration in the middle of urgency. Now isn't that a good thing? Of course it is.
Let me give you an example. Say you need to remember five items. We can take the items as the following; a cat, rice, hat, pigeon and fence. They are entirely different and have no relevance from one another but remembering these bits of information is a piece of cake with pure Link Method. What you need to do is have your imagination working by starting on the cat. Imagine it as a Siamese cat that eats rice since he's from Siam. The rice is served in a hat but then, a pigeon comes along and starts to eat the rice. Seeing this, the cat chases the pigeon away and ends up landing in the fence.
What you can do in addition to the scene above is to create details for each character. Try to imagine the colors, location and other important details as you construct the scene. Experts found out that the memory skills of a person work very well with colors. However, it is not so good when it comes to shapes.
Going back to the scene we've created, plus points would go for funnier imagination. Humans respond and capture vivid images that are unique and funny. It may sound crazy but it's proven to work. Imagination and memory is a good pair that works excellent together. Using it takes less of an effort but requires enthusiasm and willingness.
Here are a few further basic methods you can learn out of the entire panorama of memory techniques included in our course...
1. Linking Objects Through Mnemonics
In using mnemonics, it's important that you prepare your brain to different sorts of ideas and images since mnemonics works on your creativity while you enhance your memorization skills. It's interesting to know that the sillier or outrageous an idea is, the easier the mind is able to absorb it.
A good mnemonic you can try is the Link method. Incorporate all the absurdity you can think of here because with the Link method, it'll require your imagination to work. Pretend you need to remember the following: cell phone, socks, flour and a ball. Now the idea with link method is to have all the items interlinked together in one situation and location. This approach makes remembering easier because all the things that you need are already in one setting.
First, try to think of your cell phone by the window. It suddenly rings but you're not around so a pair of socks hanged just outside the window stretches itself to reach the cell phone but fails to do so. The cell phone falls in the first floor window and smashes a pot of flour. As flour residue scatters in the air, a nearby ball coughs and from there it starts to bounce around the entire room damaging everything.
Go ahead, work a little on your imagination and see what you're capable of.
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2. Memorizing Numbers
Mnemonics are a set of effective methods that improve a person's memorization capability.
There are various methods of mnemonics which can be used according to a person's preference. If you are targeting to improve memorization with numbers, there is the Number-Rhyme method for simple sets of numbers. If you would like to test your knack on long numbers, you can try methods such as the Major system or the Dominic Method.
But let's not complicate things. Consider the phone numbers of major business establishments. A 1-800-TIP-HELP number isn't just there so you have something to read. It's made to be that way so just in case you forget the actual numbers, the letters are there to help you. Since phone buttons have letters on them, you don't need the exact numbers. These are called telephone number mnemonics.
If numbers aren't your specialty, you can use a mnemonic called the Number-Rhyme method. The idea here is to simply find a rhyming object (for better imagination) and match it to the number.
Ex. Eight = Crate; Nine = Pine; Ten = Hen
If there's a need for you to memorize sets of numbers, try imagining the words the numbers are rhymed to so your imagination works together with you. This way, you won't be too trapped with just plain numbers. Imagining crates under pine trees which open and then Hens come out would help you better to absorb the old boring numbers you have to deal with. It's also a great way to keep your mind active since imagination is a big contributor.
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3. Loci System Making You Loco
Dealing with memorization problems does have its effect on us and how we perceive the task. But it doesn't have to be difficult at all. We still have a good chance of improving our memorization capabilities if we just practice.
One way to do this is to concentrate on what you see so you can recall it later. There is a mnemonic method called the Loci System.
Now, how does this work?
The idea works with the places or landmarks that you see everyday. And since you see them everyday, they are all familiar to you so there wouldn't be any problem in trying to recall them. Though you can apply flexibility in using this method, it is highly recommended that you deal with the areas that are most familiar to you.
For example, paper, aluminum foil, doll, lotion and eggs are the items which you need to remember. You can start grabbing things that you see in your mind and relate it to any of the items mentioned above. Start with the paper and pretend that you're going downstairs. As you go, imagine the stairs made of paper, thin and white. You then turn on your aluminum foil-wrapped TV as you sit in the living room. Next, you stare out the window and you see a doll mowing your lawn. As you wait anxiously for breakfast, you storm in to the kitchen and you see a bottle of lotion using an orange juice maker, and then you see the eggs, beating each other up inside the bowl.
So, all you need to do is create a completely wild scenario using the items that you need to remember, together with what you're going to relate them with.
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and other memory improvement techniques
4. Expand Your Imagination with Pegs
Our brain is such an amazing part of our body since it does all of the verbal and mental tasks that we handle everyday. This means that most of what we see, hear, smell, say and feel is all registered by our brain. Our brain is also responsible in how we think and speak.
You can't be completely on guard with all the things that comes in and out of your mind. Stress, for example is a great memory buster. It's when were stressed that we can't think straight at all. It's when were stressed that makes us think everything is just turning out bad and makes us feel even worse. Its when were stressed that the glucose in our brain decreases because cortisol destroys glucose.
But even then, practicing a good memorization technique can still help. Consider the Peg method, a way to improve your memorization skill. Using the peg method can be very useful in memorizing a long list. You can start with the numbers 0-9. So you have a way to remember each number, think of a word that rhymes with the number.
For example: one = nun; two = brew; three = tree; etc
By thinking of any words that rhyme with the numbers, it helps in establishing relation with what you need to memorize. Let's say you need to memorize Acrophobia, Androphobia and Arsonphobia in a particular order. Since they all sound alike, you can number them as 1, 2 and 3.
1 (nun) = Acrophobia = fear of heights
First, think of a nun with Acrophobia trembling each time she goes up on the second floor. Next, a brewed coffee has Androphobia because it cools down each time a man orders it, and lastly a tree runs up the mountains whenever a fire approaches; proof that it has Arsonphobia.
2 (brew) = Androphobia = fear of men
3 (tree) = Arsonphobia = fear of fire
Try creating your very own peg words and even extend your list up to 20 or more. You'll find it easy to memorize items.
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memory improvement techniques
5. Take A Snapshot and Memorize
There are so many factors in life which could easily affect a person's memorization ability. We may not know all of it consciously but with the fast-paced life that everyone is living now, we could be doing something already that silently harms our memory.
As many of you are already aware, keeping your brain active by playing puzzles and word games everyday helps battle memorization decline. It even enriches your vocabulary and the way you think. Other mind-enriching exercises are I.Q tests, use of flash cards, memory tests, eating good food and of course mnemonics. As described, mnemonics is simply a tool, an aid to helping a person enhance his memory capabilities.
Using mnemonics doesn't limit you. It gives you various methods to choose from. The best part in using mnemonics as well is that it doesn't forcibly use a type of mnemonic method just because you prefer to learn this way or that way; you can choose which one you'd like most or you can use them all.
An example is the Snapshot technique. It's a mnemonic that lets you work on visual images you could create. This is an easy method to use especially if you're the type that imagines most of the time. Let's say we want to remember a hose, dog, tortoise and pool.
The goal here is to associate all four items in one scene; just like in a movie. Imagine a hose spraying water on a dog for crossing over the lawn, the dog is startled and as it runs, it stumbles on a tortoise. The tortoise wants to give the dog a lesson for the disturbance it caused, so the tortoise jumps in the pool tugging the dog along.
Since you have all the items in one scenario, it isn't too difficult to take it all in.
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