Created on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 00:00
Are you absolutely horrible at memorizing lines for a presentation or mathematical formulas for an examination? Do you want your memory to be a little better without having resort to taking any kind of medication? Too many times, people find themselves stuck in time trying to recall something that they know it is on the tip of their minds but simply just can’t. If that happens to you too, you might want to try out some of these brain hacks to help with your memory… if you can remember to use any of these methods that is…
1. Use Your Nose
Your olfactory system is one of the most powerful memory recall devices possible, even more so than all your other 4 senses. The sense of smell is exceptionally strong because the scent you sniff in from your strategically positioned nose is able to go directly to your memory center. It could subconsciously help if you were studying for a test, say Biology, and wearing a certain perfume, and then wear that same perfume when you sit for your Biology test. Change the fragrance for every topic/subject so that your brain does not confuse facts.
2. Compose a Song
You shouldn’t listen to music while studying or trying to memorize something as the unrelated lyrics might distract you. Instead, turn the text you are trying to remember into music. Think back to all the tunes they teach you in Kindergarten, the simpler they are, the better it is.
3. Hit the Snooze Button
To remember random information like an address or a phone number, instead of just repeating it to yourself under your breath, you can try rehearsing it every 15 seconds or so for a couple of minutes. Don’t wait any longer than that or else the memory of that information will decay. Just set your alarm on snooze for 15 seconds and rehearse!
4. The Peg System
This may seem like an unusual method but it surprisingly works quite well! What you do is imagine that you are storing information in different parts of your body, like say your right thumb, so that they act as pegs. You visualize an image of what you are trying to remember and associate it with a corresponding body part.
5. Setting the Information
There is a phenomenon called context-dependent memory, where you can give yourself clues for remembering things based on the sensory input you are experiencing at the time of the memory. Researchers found that when text participants learned something underwater, they could recall the information a lot better when underwater again. I find this to be true from personal experience, like sometimes I would not be able to remember certain details that happened the previous night when I went out drinking but found that if I started getting intoxicated again, the memories would come flooding back, do not try this at home kids.
6. Use the Chunking Method
According to neurological research, you can retain about 5 to 9 (average of 7) items in your working memory at one time. We can remember things like a phone number (8 digits long) by chunking the information into groups. So we are actually only learning 2 pieces of information (e.g. 9123 4567)
7. The Loci Method
Also known as the Journey Method and the Roman Room Method. This old memory technique uses a “memory palace” or house. You mentally walk through an area where you have stored information. By walking through different rooms or areas, you can remember the information you stored in those rooms.
8. The Keyword Method
This is extremely handy when you need to memorize vocabulary when learning a foreign language. To utilize it, think of a sound you recognize from the new word, visualize the sound and then relate it to the new word you are learning.
If you link items together in a list even if they might be completely unrelated, it is actually easier to remember them because they will have a flow and rhythm to it. A common way to link items together on a list is with a short story, where you can incorporate every item and have fun doing so.
10. Simply Focus
Stop allowing yourself to get distracted. Many people listen to music or have their television on when they study because many of them will say that they cannot study in too quiet of a place, but what they are doing actually significantly impairs the ability to memorize information. You can’t actually multi-task, you jump in between tasks. So, to memorize information, just focus and limit other stimuli.