Comprehensive Guide to Improve Your Memory

You can learn to remember : change your thinking, change your life by Dominic O’Brien.

  • You can learn to remember is one of my favorite books that teaches techniques about memory improvement. This book is truly unique because it describes the process in such a clear and simple way. There are also very good techniques for applying memory systems to enhance recall.
  • Make sure to check out my post about the first program to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease. There is some good information about lab tests, nutrients and lifestyle changes that can improve brain function. http://healingideas.org/protocol-for-improving-brain-function
  • Infrared Light and Red Light can help with memory problems. This article discusses scientific research about how light can improve brain function. http://healingideas.org/infrared-light-and-the-brain
  • Here are some key points about how the memory process works, and methods you can apply to recover your memory.

 

 

How to Improve Your Memory

 

Memorization Techniques

  • Have faith in memory as a perfectible faculty.
  • 3 Basic Processes.
    • Making something memorable.
    • Storing that item in the mind.
    • Recalling it accurately at some future time.

 

The Art of Memory

  • The most basic skill with the art of memory.
    • Create a mental symbol for each piece of information we wish to retain.
  • 3 Main Ingredients.
    • Imagination – transforming new information into images that we can retain in our mind.
    • Association – connecting these imaginative images to what we already know.
    • Location – anchoring those associations in our mind with loci or places.

 

The Art of Storing, Retaining and Recalling Memories

  • Memory operates by filing a piece of information, in an appropriate compartment in the filing system.
  • Matter of getting organized and sorting out mental clutter,
    • so that the next time we need to access a certain piece of information it is logically placed for us to find.
  • Memory requires logical organization and creative thought.
    • Left Brain processes logic and language.
    • Right Brain processes the creative side of ourselves.
    • This links the networks of the entire brain together.
  • To retain and recall information more effectively,
    • Make better use of storage space available.
    • Repeat what we have stored.

 

The Art of Imagination

  • Imagination is a symbolic converter.
    • Transforming the linear, systematic information that is processed by our left brain,
    • into vivid creative information to which our right brain responds.
  • Look back over experiences that you criticized at the time as being forgettable.
    • Unexciting.
    • Failed to fire our imagination.

 

Effective Use of Memory Requires Us to Enliven Mundane Pieces of Information

  • First step is mental imaging.
    • Literally picture the real thing in our mind.
  • Then, use visualization to turn the realistic mental image into something that is experienced in a number of different aspects.
    • Give it a new dimension and use imagination.
      • Conferring movement and life on an inanimate objects.
      • Making humans or animals behave or change shape in unlikely ways.
      • The more surreal the image, the more retrievable it is likely to be.
    • How does it stimulate the other senses?
      • Does it have a smell?
      • Can we taste it?
      • What does it feel like to touch?
      • How does it sound?
  • May not immediately remember the item,
    • But may remember the scenario that we have created for it.
    • Or even the act of creating the scenario.
  • Imagination is a main thoroughfare toward enhanced memory.
  • It takes confidence underpinned by faith.
  • You may be surprised how quickly this way of thinking becomes second nature.

 

The Art of Association

  • Association is an important part of recollection.
  • Successful memory work involves,
    • Linking a forgettable item of information, with an un-forgettable image.
    • Using natural associations as well as forging unnatural associations.
  • Enables recall of not only what has been purposely memorized but also previously forgotten life experiences.
  • Many associations occur naturally and spontaneously.
    • As a result of inherent meaning or cultural tradition such as
      • Golf club and fishing rod with leisurely activities.
      • Spectacles with scholarship or intelligence through a perceived link with reading.
  • Association techniques based on the sense and sound of words can play a part in the
    • Storage of memories.
    • Retrieval of memories.
  • Associations can be connected with emotions.
    • Physiological reactions can reinforce
      • items of information.
      • and the connections.
  • Intense emotions create neurotransmitter chemicals and stress hormones.
    • An emotion that is associated with a piece of information or part of a link, can act as a trigger that reproduces the chemical reaction during the recall process.

 

The Art of Location

  • Location is prominent in your recollections.
  • Locus Method.
    • Position images of data in a tangible, fixed place.
      • Location based memory works because the location is fixed.
      • Placing each piece of data in a particular place makes it easier to recall those items.
  • Studies show that people who have spent the day travelling are especially accurate in recalling the sequence of events in the day.
    • Even details of conversations seem sharper because the dialogue is remembered in the setting in which it took place.

 

The Art of Concentration

  • Concentration when memorizing.
    • Focus fully on the information being told or the experience,
    • While at the same time, allowing the brain to make appropriate associations.
  • It is important to focus on.
    • The items.
    • The system by which you remember the items.
    • Without allowing external stimuli to influence your concentration.
  • To concentrate is to
    • Notice what we see.
    • Listen to what we hear.
    • Feel what we touch.
    • Savor what we taste and smell.
    • Be mindful of what we think.
  • Problems with recall.
    • Begins within the first few seconds of our attempts to memorize.
    • Problem lies with our level of concentration.
    • Cannot concentrate on more than one thing at once.
      • Concentrate fully on neither.
    • The mind is capable of 100 percent concentration.

 

The Art of Observation

  • Observation helps our powers of association.
  • The sharper our powers of observation,
    • The more accurate our memory of experiences.
  • Important to use all the senses.
  • Concentrating on the details of how things look will make them more memorable.
    • Color, shape, size, distinguishing features.

 

The Art of Recall

  • Recall is an appropriate link or series of links that,
    • leads us to the memories that we want to retrieve.
  • We initiate our mental search in a logical rather than a random fashion.
  • Largely depends on how we organized and stored the memories.
  • Recall is a strategic process.
  • Recall uses both left and right brain.
    • Left brain
      • Starts the process.
      • By revisiting a conscious association.
      • Logically sorts through a sequence of options such as
        • who, what, when, where.
      • Right brain
        • Completes process.
        • With a creative aspect.
        • Works at a subliminal level often through
          • Emotions and sensual associations.
          • Point-of-view, sounds, smells.
  • Emotions create physiological reactions during memorization and recall.
    • Neurotransmitter chemicals.
    • Stress hormones.
  • Artificial aids create a web of associations.
    • When we wove a web of associations around the item without associations,
    • We hitched it to deep-rooted elements in out memory.
      • These had already earned their keep in our memory banks.
      • By way of the familiar we reached the unfamiliar.
  • Whole item may be captured by means of a fragment.
  • The environment itself can be an effective retrieval cue.
  • Many memories might be rediscovered if we could find the right triggers to bring it into our consciousness.
  • Common problems
    • Anchored by an ineffective association.
    • Was not revised.
    • Inappropriately filed.
    • Stored half heartedly.
    • Without due concentration.
  • Sometimes a shift in focus without the resistance of our frustration can help with recall.

 

Revision and Repetition

  • Rehearsing an act of memory and going over the process of recall.
  • Most memorable facts are those that engage our interest.
  • How often and how soon recall should be practiced depends on,
    • type of information.
    • type of method used.
  • Rule of 5.
    • 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month.

 

Memory and the Senses

  • Incorporating all five senses.
    • easier to memorize and recall.
    • more potential associations to connect the items alongside the main item.
  • Most powerful senses for recall are,
    • sight, sound and smell.
  • Sight and sound play part in
    • memorizing words and numbers.
  • Smell bypasses thalamus region of brain stem and connects directly with the neurons in the cortex.
    • Creates a direct route to our memory store.
    • Scent can instantly transport us back to a highly emotive event.
  • Think of this as part of a sensory tuning designed to open up your mind more fully to your experiences.

 

The World of Emotions

  • The most vivid memories have emotional significance.
  • Amygdala regulates emotions.
    • Located next to hippocampi – which processes memories.
  • Emotions can be evoked by sensory triggers.
  • During emotional experiences the amygdala releases stress related hormones which makes memorization more efficient.
  • Later at the stage of recall, the amygdala stimulates a physical emotional reaction.

Releasing the Past

  • Negative recollections can nag at our peace of mind in a way that is wasteful and even destructive.
  • Intense emotional experience has the effect of fixing a memory.
  • If we can learn to divest a memory of its emotional charge, so that the emotion does not come flooding back with recollection,
    • It is less likely to keep surfacing in our mind.
  • Need to look at upsetting memories in a practical light.
  • Change perspective of a negative experience.
  • Archive of experiences.
    • As a compass by which you have set future directions in life.
    • Picture all the archive files whether positive of negative
      • bound in covers of the same color chronologically.
  • We do not live in the past.
    • Its incidents excite no emotion.

Reading and Retaining

  • Rely on imagination to create impact.
  • Plan your reading.
    • so that you do not waste time reading surplus data or opinions.
    • feeling duty bound to read something from cover to cover will only result in a sense of your being burdened by the pages ahead.
    • try to read actively not passively.
    • question the logic behind every statement.
    • animate and review the information,
      • by drawing a mind map or list of key points.

Quick Fix Ideas for Memory Retrieval Issues

  • Tip of the tongue phenomenon.
  • Various ways to coax a memory out of stubborn forgetfulness.
    • Avoid trying too hard, as this tends to be self-defeating.
    • Distract yourself.
    • Do something else.
    • Memory template – educated guess.
    • Educated guess.
      • See if you sense a correspondence.
        • Searching for a name
          • Right # of syllables?
          • Begin with the right letter?
          • Have the right ambience about it?
          • Do you sense a partial correspondence?