Don’t Derail the Train of Thought

Tricks to Enhance Memory

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Some people remember every little detail of their entire life; they can remember what color shoes they wore on their first day of kindergarten. However, there are other people who can’t even remember to brush their hair in the morning. Memory may seem a little crazy at times, but there is a specific process the brain goes through in order to create one.

The first step of creating a memory is encoding, which uses the senses to convert the item of interest into a code that can be recalled later on. Then, this code is stored by neurons, the nerve cells of the brain, into either short-term or long-term memory.

The final step in creating a memory is recall. This is when the brain revisits the nerve pathways created when the memory is formed. The more a memory is recalled, the stronger that memory becomes.

Here are some memorization techniques to strengthen the mind:

  1. Create Associations
  • Creating associations with what you are trying to learn makes it easier to recall in the long-term. An example of this would be if you’re trying to remember the items on a grocery list. If the items on the list are corn, bananas, and milk, then you can combine them into cornanasilk.
  1. Repetition
  •   Repeating what you are trying to remember etches it into your brain. To do this, you could make flashcards, re-read the material aloud, or even break the information into clusters.
  1. Create an Acronym or Acrostic
  •  I bet the majority of you can remember the order of operations in math because of the acrostic the teacher made for it; Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

( Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction)

  • The acronym ROY G. BIV can be used to remember the order of the colors of the rainbow.(Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet)
  1.  Make a Rhyme or a Song
  • If you’re one of the more creative people, this technique might be easier to you.

All you have to do is put the information into a rhyme or song.

  1. Make Up a Story
  • Putting the information into a crazy, fun story makes it easier for the brain to recall. If you wanted to remember the words fish, car, and mountain, the story might be that a fish got ran over by a car going up the side of a mountain.
  1. Use Grouping According to Context or Patterns
  • Grouping is when you take the items of a list and put them together into groups of 2’s or 3’s.
  1. Put Things in Color
  • Our brain has been known to associate objects with their colors such as the sky is blue or the grass is green. So, putting the information you want to recall in color makes it easier to remember.
  1. Image-Name Associations
  • The image-name association technique is when you put a feature of someone’s face with their name. An example of this would be Frank has blue eyes, so his image-name association would be Frankie Blue Eyes.
  1. Act It Out – Dramatize
  • Many actors act out their lines to memorize them easier. The bigger an action is, the easier it will be to remember.
  1. Lifestyle Improvements
  • The final technique is to improve the way you live with exercise, sleep, and healthy eating.
  • Physical exercise protects and enhances the memory.
  • Our brain “resets” while we sleep.
  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil are some foods that help your memory.

  With these techniques to strengthen memory, hopefully everyone’s trains of thought will be full steam ahead.

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