Boost Your Memory Power –
You have spent hours reading the books you borrowed from the library. You have sacrificed a lot of fun time and party times with your friends to crack the exam and get all straight A+. You have paid full attention to the lectures, prepared your notes and feel you are ready for any challenge the examiners will throw at you. But, one look at the question paper and you realize that you don’t remember anything at all.
If this looks familiar to you, don’t worry, you are not alone on this road. One of the most common complaints you hear from students is, “I remember everything when I am studying for the exams. I give perfect answers when my friends or family ask me questions for confirmation. But, once I look at the exam paper I forget everything. I can’t remember anything clearly and everything is blurred in my mind”.
If this is the woe of students, husbands have their own set of problems when they forget their anniversaries, wife’s birthday, or what they were asked to bring back home. Women keep forgetting all the shopping they did and keep shopping again and again, though many don’t believe it is due to lack of memory power.
We all tend to walk into a room or open the cupboard and forget why we are there, we cannot recall where we put our keys even if our life depends on it, especially when we are running late, we are greeted by people who seem to know us very well, but we cannot remember who they are. These are just a few common examples of how we are tormented by our memories or to be precise, the loss of it, in our everyday life.
On the other hand, we have people with eidetic memories like Charles Nalder Baeyertz who learned the Maori language by memorizing a dictionary, Swami Vivekananda who could memorize a book by going through it once, or Stephen Wiltshire who is able to draw the entire landscape after seeing it from a helicopter.
Mystery Of our brain
Nothing is more mysterious than our brains. For centuries, we have tried to understand the functioning of the mind or brain. Though we carry it on our shoulders throughout our lives, it is no less strange to us than the outer space. With the progress of science, though many mysteries around us were understood and solved, our brain became only more obscure and incomprehensible as it was unravelled.
According to Locke, our brain is complete when we are born, but it is like a blank slate or Tabula Rasa on which we write our life experiences which later becomes our memory leading to learning of skills and acquisition of knowledge. Memory power is an integral part of our brain which makes us who we are.
Memory is quite unpredictable and works in an enigmatic way. We may remember something which is very irrelevant to us or even what want to forget, but on the other hand, forget the most important thing which meant a world to us. Most of the times, our brain flashes an error message when we try to recall something important but then it comes to us just like that in a flash when we are not even thinking about it.
6 Ways To Improve Your Memory Power
We all could do with a little boost in our memory department. Memory is nothing but observation, absorption, storing and recall technique which we use automatically as we go about living our lives.
Today, in the era of technology and smart gadgets, we are losing touch with our natural memory power techniques due to the introduction of apps that aid us in remembering things. Gone are the days when we used to keep reminding ourselves about the birthday of an important person which is due in a coming month. Now that we know that Facebook will inform us of upcoming birthdays, we no longer make effort to remember it. No more tying thread to your finger to remember an important event.
Science has proven that we lost our tails when it stopped assisting us in balance and mobility. Are we going to lose our remembrance techniques and ability to apps and gadgets? A good memory power is always a good and impressive asset of our personality. Let us not ignore it, but improve it further for healthier and better living.
Unlike checking your smartphone for a romantic poetry to read to your lover, improving your memory power is fun and engaging. With time, you don’t even have to practice the tools and techniques to remember things since it becomes your nature. If you improve your memory power today, it will help you fight old age problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s or poor memory power by bringing down the risk to some extent.
Let us now get ready to walk down the fascinating path of improving our memory power. Just because we are about to explore few memory improvement techniques, you don’t have to apply everything for yourself. Explore, evaluate and adopt the memory power techniques that you feel comfortable with and that which meets your requirement.
below we have discussed some techniques to improve your memory power so just go through it
Some cues with simple words are very easy to memorize and remember. In the pegging technique, you use these simple cues to recall information in a particular order. Remember how you hang your coats or hats on hooks? Pegs are nothing but same hooks on which you hang required memory sequence.
You can either use numbers from 1-20 or Alphabets for peg technique. It is good to have rhyming words to go with the pegs. For example,
- For one, you can choose, sun, bun, or fun
- For two, you can choose a shoe, who, or blue
- For three club words like tree, free or bee
Many people with visual learning abilities use the number shape system which goes as the following
- 1 – Upright wand
- 2 – Swan with its head looking down
- 3 – Half an upright infinity sign or a heart laying on its side
- 4 – Yacht sail
Once you memorize the rhymes or visual images and know it well, you can use them as pegs to hang your list on so that you recall the names easily. For example, if you have to use the peg for memorizing 3 fruits – apple, banana and strawberry to peg with words Sun, Shoe and Bee.
Imagine the apple sweating in sun, a banana with big shoes slipping on its own peel, and strawberry being stung by bees. The vivid pictures will not only help you recall exact names but you will also be able to recall them in exact order.
Try it. This is much easier doing it than reading it here.
Imagine you have to purchase five items you need at home on your way back from the office. It is easy to know the list when you step out of your home, but can you remember them after a hectic workday? Probably not. Acronyms will help you simplify and remember your lists. For example – if you plan to buy rice, orange, milk, sugar, apples and bread on your way back, use the first letters of each item to form a new word. How about Rambos? Sombar? Is it not easy to recall the list with the help of these words?
You may argue that it is always easy to write and carry a list with you, but with bad memory power, you may even forget the list. On the other hand, memory power Technics and tools will exercise your brain and make it stronger.
Did you know that LASER is not a word but acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation? Another popular usage of Acronym is seen in schools when students use the word VIBGYOR (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red) to remember the colours of a rainbow.
Once you get used to creating crazy and funny acronyms, you will not only remember everything better but will also have fun remembering things.
Loci, also known as Mental Palace, is the oldest mnemonic strategy we know which was used to remember familiar places. In this ancient memory power techniques, you will use organization, visual memory, and associations to remember more complicated data than just lists.
With Loci you can give an impressive presentation, express your ideas through a speech without peeking at notes and remember a lot of information clearly by stimulating your brain in the right manner.
When we walk through familiar places, we actually do not pay much attention to the steps, doors or paths since we are accustomed to them. In Loci, we have to select one such familiar path and get accustomed to it so well that you can clearly visualize it.
The next step is to assign keyword which triggers your memory power as you walk through the path in your mind.
For example, to remember a speech in an order, you need to pick up keywords from it and assign it to your path in either an absurd (or logical) way you can clearly remember. When you mentally walk the path, you will recall the keywords which will help you remember the rest of the data.
It is said that this method helps people remember even a 100 digit number. Make your own path, make sure you follow the path the same way and do not change it. Once done with the foundation, assign tasks or sentences to it to remember in an order.
Let us assume you select your path from garage after parking your car and walk up to your bedroom to change. You want to remember tasks to be done the next day beginning from depositing your cheque in the bank. Imagine wiping your car door after parking it with a cheque. The next thing you want to do is call up your friend. So the next thing you do on your path is close the garage door, so imagine crushing your phone under the garage door. These are just a few examples. You will come up with interesting linking methods once you get familiar. By walking the path, you will be recalling information like a supercomputer in no time.
It is common for people to clench their fists when they are trying to recall something. You can reverse this process by clenching your fist at the point you wish to recall later. You can clench your fist to retain data initially and during the recall, process clench your opposite fist.
For example, if you want to remember a task your boss assigned you during a meeting, it looks odd if you take out your smartphone and jot it down in front of others. Instead, clench your right fist if you are right-handed, and when you want to recall clench your left fist. Works opposite for left-handers.
This works by stimulating your brain for information.
There is a joke that goes
“How do you eat an elephant?”
“One bite at a time”.
Chunking is something similar to the joke where you try to retain elephant like information in smaller bites. Many of us involuntarily use this method to remember 10 digit mobile phone numbers. When large data is divided into smaller chunks or groups, it is easier to remember and recall.
Now, this must be shocking to you, but believe it or not, breathing can help you in improving your memory power as well.
In the past, when students fumbled with their answers, teachers would make them hold their left earlobe with a right hand and right ear lobe with the left hand and then sit and stand without squatting flat on the floor. Today, scientists have proof that this enhances memory power to a great extent and is a good recall technique if done with deep breathing. Repeat the same procedure with deep inhaling when you go towards the floor and exhaling as you come up.
We know our ancestors were smart people.
Apart from the all the techniques, you need to remain calm and focused to on your work, eat healthily, exercise regularly and get enough sleep to enhance your memory power.
Let us not be dumb people with smartphones, but keep challenging our brains with puzzles and memorizing trials.
Do not quit if you failed to succeed the first time. Keep trying. It is said that once we learn about cycling or swimming, we never forget it. This does not apply to everything though. We need to keep practising to increase our memory power. The more we practice, the stronger the memory power as proven by the tables we learnt in school. We repeated them every year so we remember them even after we are out of College, but can we recall poems from English so clearly? This is because the repetitions create strong neuropathy in our brain which helps us recall information clearly.
Using different colours to have a visual effect, creating flowcharts, keyword note making and many other techniques are adopted by students to remember their lessons.
Hope you enjoyed reading the memory power techniques and had fun trying some of them already. Keep going at it and challenge your brain often. Enjoy the memory power games and improve your memory power at the same time.