Simple Tips to Improve Your Memory

1. Mnemonics:

Mnemonics means linking of to-be-remembered material with a systematic & organized set of images or words. It can therefore serve as reminder cues (memory pegs).

For example :

1. Colours of rainbow can be remembered as:

2. 12 cranial nerves can be remembered as:

 2. The method of Loci:

The memory pegs in this system are part of your image of a scene. The scene can be a street, a building with rooms, a college campus, a kitchen or anything that can be visualized clearly & contains a number of items to serve as memory pegs.

Start imagining a building with a number of rooms and several items of furniture in each rooms. Rehearse this image over & over until it is well in established in your mind after you have formed your image, associate the events you wish to remember with the rooms & items of furniture.

For example, if you want to remember the places with highest rainfall, imagine going to washroom with 2-3 showers one above other. Label each shower like “Mawsynram (Meghalya)” to the topmost shower & “cheerapunji” to the lower one. Now take the mental tour to your washroom whenever you want to find the answer.

3. Number & Letter peg system:

(i) The number system: 

In this method, we form an image with numbers in our mind.

Think of the words that rhyme with the numbers.

1 – Bun
2 – Shoe
3 – Tree
4 – Door

If the 1st item on a grocery list is coffee, imagine a cup of coffee next to a plate of bun.

If 2nd item is hamburger, you might see a giant shoe squashing hambuger into a party.

(ii) The letter system:

In this we can establish mnemonic pegs by forming strong, distinctive images of words that start with the sounds of the letters of alphabet.

This will give us 26 pegs for association with what we want to remember.

4. Tell yourself a story:

If  you have a list of unrelated items to remember, a useful mnemonic device is to relate the items in a made up story. The story starts with the 1st item on the list & then each succeding items are added to the story.

5. Remembering names & faces:

1. Be sure we hear the name clearly when introduced.

2. Repeat the name when acknowledging the introduction.

3. If the name is unusal, politely ask to spell it.

While we are making sure, we have heard &  rehearsed the name, we should be paying close attention to the individual’s face. The shape & size of head and other characteristics of hair, forhead, eyebrow, eyelashes, eyes, cheekbones, nose, ears, lips, chin, skin & voice quality should all be focal points of attention.

Almost everybody we meet will have one or several features that can be elaborated, exaggerated or even imagined as a cartoon to from a distinctive memory image that can be related to the person’s name.

6. Chunking:

Chunking is the process by which individual pieces of an information set are broken down & then grouped together in a meaningful whole.

For example, If you want to remember your credit  card number:-

19141609001, break the number into chunks.

“1914”-remind you an important date in history (outbreak of world war I).

“1609”-your Friend’s car number/house number.

“001”-James Bond’s little brother.

These were some simple tips to improve your memory & remember a number of items.

But if you want to remember what you study in course books, read our next article on “Study tips for students”.

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