From forgetting a colleague’s name to not being able to recall an event, HEALTH shares some tips on how to enhance your memory and start remembering today…
Signs Your Memory Is Dwindling
A few signs you may be forgetting more often than usual, tells Dr. Raymond Hamden, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist in The Human Relations Institute in Dubai includes the following:
• Forgetting things much more often than you used to
• Forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times before
• Trouble learning new things
• Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation
• Trouble making choices or handling money
• Not being able to keep track of what happens each day
What Are Mnemonic Devices
Memory improvement techniques are called mnemonic devices or simply mnemonics, says Dr. Hamden. All mnemonic devices depend upon two basic principles: firstly, the recoding of information into forms that are easy to remember, and secondly, supplying oneself with excellent retrieval cues to recall the information when it is needed. For example, many schoolchildren learn the colors of the visible spectrum by learning the imaginary name ROY G. BIV, which stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. “Several bits of information are repackaged into an acronym that is easier to remember,” says Dr. Hamden. The letters of the acronym serve as retrieval cues that enable recall of the desired information.
Simple Steps to Help Remember
- Keep lists.
- Follow a routine.
- Make associations (connect things in your mind), such as using landmarks to help you find places.
- Keep a detailed calendar.
- Put important items, such as your keys, in the same place every time.
- Repeat names when you meet new people.
- Do things that keep your mind and body busy.
- Run through the ABC’s in your head to help you think of words you’re having trouble remembering. “Hearing” the first letter of a word may jog your memory.
Other Ways to Improve Your Memory
- Chunking is used when remembering numbers to break the group into a smaller number of “chunks.”
- Sentences/acrostics are created using the first letter of each word you are trying to remember. Instead of making a new word, use letters to make a sentence such as My Dear Aunt Sally (mathematical order of operations: Multiply and Divide before you Add and Subtract.)
- Method of loci combines organization, visual memory, and association. Before using the technique, identify a common path that you walk along. Imagine walking along it and identify specific landmarks you will pass-the number of landmarks you choose will depend on the number of things required to remember.
- Rhymes and songs can all aid memory and draw on your auditory memory.