Memory Strategies: 12 Shockingly Easy Ways To Remember More
Recently I walked out on the TEDx stage, opened my mouth, and for 13 minutes and 22 seconds, a bunch of words spilled out of my mouth.
The sentences and quotes flowed easily, without my having to think about a single one of them. At the end, a bunch of people clapped. I said goodbye to the people Id met , and then went home.
But wait. Isnt this post about memory strategies? What does giving a speech have to do with strategies to improve memory?
Thats the beauty of what happened that day on stage. Because I have a number of memory strategies, it was easy for me to give that speech.
I can think back to a number of public speaking engagements that were stress-free, totally blissful, and perfectly wonderful all because I have memory strategies.
This isnt to say that stress-free means problem-free.
Far from it. As you can see in this video of the TEDx Talk, people laughed at something I wasnt expecting
but thankfully, I was able to get back on track by simply falling back on the strategies youre about to learn.
When I think back on all the times Ive walked into a room and remembered the names of people and been able to speak to them without notes, Im continually grateful for these strategies.
It makes me sad how many people suffer badly in life because they dont have a strategy. Thats why todays post will cover how to develop and cultivate a memory strategy that helps you with memory improvement.
Ready to bring memory strategies into your life?
The Speed Of Implementation Rule
If you just use the tools and strategies we talked about today, theyll help you be consistent and youll rarely get stuck. But something I notice in my most successful students is that they all observe the speed of implementation rule.
This rule comes out of a fact you can observe in nature: every moment you dont take action on a recommendation, something you know you should be doing, or something you just want to do the chances exponentially increase that you never will.
This rule isnt guaranteed, and there are exceptions, but if you take action right away youre likely to see your results and your life begin to improve.
It also doesnt mean you have to take every recommendation under the sun. Learn to trust your gut instinct, understand the science behind what someone is recommending, and only take recommendations from teachers and leaders you really trust.
Mnemonic Devices Are Like Keychains For Memories
We attach keychains to our keys so we wont lose them the same should apply with words.
Mnemonics are creative shortcuts for memorizing large chunks of information by triggering our memories. They can be acronyms, rhymes, or mental images that help us to remember words.
Here are a few examples of some awesome mnemonic devices to help with making those new words stick:
- Funny mental images: Associate words with outrageous or funny mental pictures.
- Word associations: Find words with similar meaning.
- Summaries: Use abbreviations and acronyms.
- Memory palaces: Making a journey in your mind through a place you know well.
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How Does The Memory Work
Oxford Languages defines memory as the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. Seems clear enough. But how does it actually work? Well, there are three main processes involved: encoding, storage, and recall.
The process of memory begins with encoding: acquiring or learning new information. Simply put, to remember something you need to learn it first. We take in information through different channels, but as we take it in we also analyze it and adapt it so it can be stored in our brain.
This new information is usually encoded in one of the four ways: acoustically visually semantically or in a tactile or elaborative way .
For example, if youve just met someone at a party and you want to remember their name you can repeat their name out loud, associate it with the way the person looks, place the name in a specific context or setting , or rely on the connections you can make with this name or person .
After the information has been encoded, it goes to storage so that we can recall, or use it later. This is what most people think about when they talk about memory.
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Memory For Studying
Your lifestyle your food, sleep and activity levels have a significant impact on your memory.
Most students try to gain more time to study by skipping out on adequate sleep. It just makes things worse because lack of sleep affects memory as well as several other cognitive abilities.
Several studies by Diekelmann and Born have shown that sleep helps in procedural memory formation, learning and creativity. In fact, sleep deprivation can even make you remember things incorrectly.
Eight hours is ideal, but at least make sure you get seven hours of sleep every night.
And dont fall for the idea that binaural beats will help you improve your memory while sleeping. Chances are that will just make you tired and forgetful.
Video course and Ebook in the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass
Foods abundant in saturated fats and trans fats such as red meat, butter, etc. are quite damaging to learning and memory. Students also tend to eat a lot of junk food which are worse for your brain.
Numerous studies have shown that these foods can even lead to Alzheimers disease in the long-term and other conditions that damage brain health and cause memory loss.
Instead, to improve your memory power for learning, try to have more of fish, olive oil, whole grains, walnuts, blueberries. There are also other foods that fall in the Mediterranean diet that are excellent for your brain.
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Memory Physical Exercise And Breathing
Until recently, it was believed that age-related cognitive decline was totally unavoidable.changes in response to exercise, adequate breathing, diet and social and environmentalstimuli.
Physical exercise and rhythmic breathing stimulate both the area of the hippocampus inthe brain and the prefrontalcortex, located in the anterior part of the brain which works on solving complexproblems and influences learning ability.
According to the possibilities and preferences of each student, in Holistic Learning wemay use walking, stretching exercises, rhythmic breathing, singing and/or dancing tostimulate these areas in the brain and promote memory and favour learning processes.
Update: Memorising Pi To 1500
During pandemic lockdown here in Taiwan, which didn’t occur until June of 2021, I tried out an experiment. If my spatial memory is so good, why not try to attempt something like pi? I’ve heard of people memorising it to astronomical numbers.
So, on three separate consecutive Sunday mornings, I memorised 500 digits of pi with very little effort. First, I mapped out a route on the world map, and associated the numbers of pi onto that map, starting from Portugal in the West all the way to southeast Asia in the East, assigning the numbers of pi to each country and using imagery of each country so that 0 = passing water, and 9 = a mountain or very tall building peak. There were some exceptions to the rule where I had to assign 693 to Belgium and 993 to Netherlands. But exceptions like that make the association even stronger, because you tell yourself: this is a big exception!
In only a couple hours of each of those Sunday mornings, I was able to assign to memory 500 digits of pi, and I did it by checking my work with a Pi app called Pi Trainer, which doesn’t restrict the time it takes me to think or recall . By the end of the experiment, I was able to recall as many as 1600 digits of pi to as much as 97% accuracy .
The most surprising part of this experiment was that I could start at any point in the sequence and go forwards or backwards by simply walking the path in my mind.
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Framing Application Of Noninvasive Brain Stimulation In The Context Of Neuropsychological Definitions
Learning and memory are cognitive functions that encompass a variety of subcomponents. These components can be structured in different ways. For example, we can focus on their temporal dimension, or differentiate various forms of memory by virtue of their content or mechanisms of acquisition . It seems clear that the cognitive structure of learning and memory is complex, and that, given the many interactions and overlaps between key subcomponents, neither neuropsychological nor neurobiological models can give us a fully satisfying taxonomy.
Classification of different types of memory process.
A key advance in the study of the neurobiological substrates of memory was
, differentiates memory subcomponents along a temporal dimension of duration . Since then researchers have proposed that STM and LTM are dependent on different neural substrates. More recently, however, it has been argued that the same representations that are active during encoding are also active during STM or during retrieval from LTM. According to these models, medial temporal lobe structures are responsible for the establishment of new representations independent of their duration, and the same binding processes are active in both STM and LTM . A related temporal dichotomy separates retrograde and anterograde memory processes . Access to memories of the past enables us to improve current decisions, while mental time traveling and the imagination of future experiences helps us to follow long-term goals .
How Memory Research Can Help You Learn A New Language
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you just turned off the light, your head is on the pillow, your eyes are closed, and yet, instead of drifting off to dreamland, you find yourself thinking about something that happened earlier in the day. Surprisingly, this process of reactivating your memories occurs even when you arent aware of it, and not only is it normal, it might actually improve your memory.
As a second-language researcher, I am especially interested in harnessing this phenomenon to help people learn new languages. I recently became excited about its potential while attending a symposium at the Cognitive Neuroscience Societys annual meeting in New York City, where researchers discussed what they had learned about reactivation of memory.
Participants in Shohamys study were not consciously aware of the effect that such pairings had on their decision even though they were thoroughly awake. But memory reactivation also occurs during sleep, when we are truly unconscious. At Northwestern University in Illinois, Ken Paller and colleagues have found that slow-wave sleep more commonly known as deep sleep can cause memory reactivation because of its periods of heightened neural synchrony, when lots of neurons activate together.
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How Does A Memory Palace Work
A memory palace sometimes called a memory journey, a mind palace or the method of loci is based on the fact that humans have very good spatial memory. Evolutionarily, this makes sense. Members of a hunter-gatherer society didnt spend much time memorizing abstract ideas they just needed to know what was where in the world.
A memory palace combines the abstract with the spatial to create a modern learning device. Well modern might be overstating it. The method of loci can be traced as far back as 477 B.C.E., when a Greek figure named Simonides used the method to remember all the guests at a party, who died during a roof collapse, before the bodies were found. Yes, this story is a tad dramatic, and might not be entirely true, but it is the earliest example of a person using spatial memory to recall a huge amount of information.
In any case, there are just a few steps to making a memory palace.
Active Vs Passive Vocabulary
Obviously, every learner has a passive and active vocabulary, since some words stick, and some dont.
When you understand words but dont use them, theyre in your passive vocabulary, while words that you understand and can use in writing and speaking are part of your active vocabulary.
Sometimes you use the same limited vocabulary when you speak, and this can cause anxiety if you cant deliver the right message due to a lack of knowledge.
When you start learning a foreign language, youll always need to grow your vocab, and the faster you do it, the better.
So how can you improve your vocabulary without forgetting it later? You need to rely on science as it shows proven ways to create a better memory and, therefore, help the new words stick.
Let’s hear Olly’s take on this first
Ready to find out about some scientifically proven new ways to learn foreign vocabulary? Here goes!
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Before: Language Learners Tricky Memory
Tip of the tongue phenomenon is actually a real thing. Its been studied, researched and well documented. So no, its not just you, everyone else sucks at remembering words in foreign languages! Why is that?There is no definite answer. Some usual suspects include the fact that the thing youre trying to remember has not been revised enough, or hasnt been used often enough to merit proper memorization. But theres also another reason, and this time it could be more serious: it involves the way things are learned. And by things I dont just mean Italian phrases or Japanese characters: this could be anything and chances are, we could be making a better job of learning and memorizing it.Memory needs connections. The better the connections the more numerous they are the easier it is to relate new material to what you already know, and bring it back when its needed. That, in a nutshell, is the secret to two techniques described below.
How We Store Long
The science behind our brain and memorization is still mostly uncharted. We dont know precisely how memories or stored or how much information our brains can store. We do know something about memory though. For instance, we know that there is a clear difference between short and long-term memory. We can see this in patients who have conditions that damage one type of memory but not the other.
And we know that when you learn, your brain develops physical pathways that change the physiology of your brain. The more you learn, the more gray matter your brain has. This is especially true for people who speak multiple languages.
We also know that you store memories all over your brain, theres no single place where we put our memories. This is because what we experience is tied to various sensory data. If you remember Grandmas fresh-baked cookies, you remember the smell, the taste, and how they looked. The brain stores all that information in corresponding parts relating to that type of sensory data.
However, theres a specific component to the brain that optimizes our memories and allows us to function, and that is forgetting. And it turns out that forgetting is part of the language learning process.
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How To Improve Memory For Language Learning
You might be learning a new language and you’re having a hard time remembering the words, grammatical rules, and the gender of each word.
There are a lot of people who know 3 or more languages. While it’s definitely easier to pick up new languages when you’re younger, it’s not impossible to do it in your adult years. Your memory just needs a little boost.
Here are 4 ways you can improve your memory for language learning:
Scientifically Proven Ways To Improve Your Memory For New Vocabulary
1. Listen To Music
Learning foreign language vocabulary requires concentration, so it may seem that listening to music while learning new words is a bad idea, as multitasking decreases productivity.
Although this makes sense, it depends on the kind of music you listen to.
For instance, music may induce a state of meditation and, therefore, relax the brain which helps us stay focused.
According to the founder of LifeSounds Educational Services, sounds can help to hold attention and enhance the memory as its easier to memorize better through rhythm and rhyme.
Take into account that you should avoid listening to:
- music with words
- music thats too loud
Moreover, its proven that classical music significantly increases memory performance in comparison with not listening to any music. The reason is that music is effective in raising efficiency in repetitive work.
As for me, I listen to chill-out mixes and relaxing music, and it helps motivate me to spend more time studying.
2. Eat Nuts
Have you ever thought about how food products affect your psychical and mental health?
Although most people know that proper nutrition is important for our well-being, most people arent aware that products can help you boost brain functions that are important for the educational process.
If your brain is ready to perceive information, you can digest that information faster.
So next time you take a break, why not eat some nuts and boost your brain power?
3. Find A Source Of Caffeine
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The Art Of Memory Frances Yates
Even though there are some problems with the thinking Yates uses in The Art of Memory, its still one of the best books about memory, and she opens a very important discourse.
The book focuses on mnemonic techniques and their relation to the history of philosophy, science, and literature.
Boost Your Memory To Improve Your Spanish Language Learning
Over 103,000 expats live in Peru, with aspects such as lower living expenses and affordable care attracting foreigners from countries such as Colombia, Spain, the U.S, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela. In most of these countries, Spanish is the official language, but those hailing from the U.S. often have to learn or hone their abilities in this language. If you are learning Spanish, finding independent ways to boost your memory is key. This is because you will be encountering new verb forms, which you may find more complex, and a host of new vocabulary as well. Memory is not only a separate ability but also a process that is tied in to behavior, attitude and personality traits. Follow these tips to ensure that memorizing a host of new information and fitting right into work and social life, is a little easier.
What Are The Biggest Learning Challenges For Expats Learning Spanish?
To hone memory, try to use a number of different strategies, including engagement in the subject matter, music, image and word pairings, and a host of successful memory strategies. Try to approach learning from a multifaceted approach, to boost your chances of success.
Music And Language
Incorporating Memory Strategies Into Your Learning
Embracing Optimal Personality Traits
Pairing Images And Sounds
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