You bump into a familiar face and not remember his name. You go shopping and forget where you parked the car. You promised to call a friend only to have it slip your mind. You go to the garage and move about endlessly without knowing what you were trying to look for.
Experts say that certain moments in your life cause you to lose memory; but if the scenes above are normal events in your daily life, then you may be suffering from poor memory. Read this article to find three techniques to improve your memory.
Basic Principle to Improve Memory
There are many memory-improving techniques known as mnemonics. They are memory codes that allow you to remember specific pieces of information. To be effective, a mnemonic should adhere to the 12 basic principles of how memory works, using the acronym SMASHIN’ SCOPE: senses, movement, association, sexuality, humor, imagination, number, symbolism, color, order or sequence, positive images, and exaggeration.
The idea is to paint a vivid mental picture of whatever it is you wish to remember. Use this principle in the three of the simplest and most common memory techniques.
1. Link System
This is the most basic system, useful for memorizing chores and lists. If you have to remember a shopping list, think of all the words on the list and weave them into a mental scenario, using all the 12 principles above. For example, when given a list as follows: dog, skirt, pink, flowers, shoes, apples, teapot, ironing, fountain, and aerobics. Make links between the words to make remembering easier. Think of a DOG dancing around in a SKIRT. Linking second and third words, The PINK SKIRT was printed with FLOWERS and SHOES, etc until you reach the last item. When you get to the end, link the last item with the first. You should now have a mental film that you can replay to remember all the words in the correct sequence.
2. Peg System
This uses a special list of key memory images that never change and to which you can peg everything you want to remember. For example, the number-shape system, which is good for remembering events in sequence, is one type of peg system. Associate a number with an image and use that to remember the sequence using the images. Again, use the 12 principles to be able to create a vivid, mental picture of the images associated with the numbers.
3. Mind Mapping
This is the most comprehensive of all the techniques. Mind mapping involves taking a key central image of the concept you want to remember and branching out all the information related to it. It’s like creating a road map that allows you to roam around your mind remembering everything related to the key image. It is excellent for organizing a busy timetable or large quantities of information.
Using a large sheet of paper and a range of colored pens, draw a symbol representing you in the middle of the page. From the central image, draw thick branches out to the key topics you need to remember – use a separate color for each. These are called basic ordering ideas (BOIs) and act like chapter headings in a book. From your BOIs draw thinner branches out to the information that falls within each chapter. Remember to use the 12 basic principles in your map. Using images, color, humor, and your own special codes is vital.
Edit and reorganize the map until it contains all you need to know in a memorable format.