Is your search history full of ‘How to remember stuff you forgot?’ or ‘Ways to remember things’. Do you feel like an imposter because you keep forgetting important things?
Don’t worry!! You are not alone.
Forgetfulness can hit you at any time regardless of age, health, or other factors.
Want to know a secret? Brad Pitt cannot remember the face of the people he meets! In an interview with CNN, Brad Pitt confirmed that he has prosopagnosia. It is a memory disease where you can't remember the face of people you meet.
Oftentimes, people with memory loss can suffer from various other issues. Issues like low confidence, imposter syndrome, or anti-social behavior can plague your life. This can hinder your growth in all the areas of life from personal to professional.
But, don’t lose hope yet!
You can train your mind to help you remember things you keep forgetting.
Why Do We Always Forget Simple Things like Numbers, Names, or Other Things?
Before we jump on the ways to remember things, we must know why we forget important things in life.
According to the Harvard Medical School, there are 7 types of common memory problems as follows:
1. Transience of Decay [OL]
Forgetting events or facts over time is the most common form of memory loss. Have you ever felt that the memory vanished from your mind?
Why does this happen? It happens because our brain cleans up unused memories over time. Due to this, you are unable to retrieve the memory even if you feel it is there.
You forget things because you didn’t pay much attention to them.
Temporary inability to remember things. The answer is on the ‘tip of the tongue’ but your mind cannot recall it.
Blocking happens because another memory clashes with the memory you want to recall.
The similarities between the two memories are so strong, that it blurs the line. Thus, you end up remembering the wrong memory.
Many times, you cannot remember things because you misplaced critical information. Due to this misplaced information, the memory never makes it to long-term memory.
For example, you may remember the exact event but misattribute the time or place.
Suggestion tricks your brain into remembering things that didn’t happen in real life.
Even the sharpest person does not have a flawless memory. Personal bias can distort your memories.
7. Persistence or Suppression of memories
Often, people want to forget memories. Most likely dark or traumatic memories. People with depressive tendencies or PTSD try to suppress their memories. They do so in order to ease the pain.
Find out which type of memory problem you are suffering from. And try these tips to remember important things such as names and events.
Simple Memory Techniques to Remember Things You Keep Forgetting
1. Make Up a Story or a Scene
Rudyard Kipling correctly said, ”If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten”.
Do you also think the history they teach us in school is boring?
Humans remember stories more than they remember facts. The stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of our brain. It helps us remember better than simply stating the facts. (link to blog 1)
2. Keep things in your ‘Memory Palace’
According to a study, a ‘memory palace’ is an effective way to remember critical pieces of information.
The idea behind this is that memory palace helps you visualize yourself placing the objects in the room in a specific order. For example, placing a book on the center table, or next to the lamp, etc.
The items that you mentally place in the room are the memories you want to store.
So next time when you want to recall a memory, you mentally walk through this room and pick back the item. It will trigger the memory related to that item.
3. Use the Chunking Methods
If you try to learn too many things together at a moment, you will forget them in a short period. Why so?
It happens because you bombard your brain with too much information.
Chunking is a technique where you collect individual pieces of information. You then group these small parts into a long piece.
With the help of the chunking method, you can remember a large amount of data in a small span of time.
4. Make it Rhyme
‘‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How I What you are?’’
Remember these lines? Most of us learned this poem in kindergarten. But we still remember it today.
The poem stuck with us because it ends with rhyming words. Brain remembers rhymes because they are linked by sounds.
5. Focus on One Thing At a Time
Stop Multitasking. When you focus on various things at once, you end up remembering few details. Focusing on one thing helps the brain in absorbing as much information as it can. Thus it becomes easy to recall it later.
6. Use Acronyms
Remember memorizing the periodic table in chemistry class? So boring right?
Let’s make it interesting. You can use the acronyms method to remember a long list of items.
For example, if you want to remember the first nine elements then you can try Happy Hector Likes Beer But Could Not Obtain Food.
7. Relate New Concepts to What You Already Know
When we connect a new concept to the things we already know, it becomes easier to recall a memory. Why? Because it is already correlated to a memory stored in our brain. It creates a bridge between two memories.
For example, if you want to learn the meaning of the Spanish word ‘Libro’ which means Book in English. You can conjure up a picture of a Libra person reading a book in your mind.
So next time, when you hear the word ‘Libro’ your brain will connect it to a person reading a book.
8. Play Brain Games
Brain games have been popular for increasing memory. Popular brain games like scrabble, chess, and crosswords challenge your brain.
For example, when you play chess, you try hard to create a new strategy against your competition. It helps you focus and improve your memory.
The Best Way to Improve Memory: Understand Your Weakness First
Understanding the reason why you keep forgetting things can be quite useful in improving your memory. Once you know the reason, you can work on improvements using simple memory techniques to remember things you keep forgetting.
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- Does anything really improve memory?
Yes. You can improve your memory by playing brain games, creating stories, memory palaces, acronyms, etc.
2. What is a good way to improve memory?
Playing brain games, mnemonics, and rhymes are good ways to improve memory.
3. What is the best way to improve memory?
Storytelling and memory palace are some of the best ways to improve memory.
4. How to improve memory while studying?
You can break the large piece of information into small pieces and then group them. This will help you absorb as much information as possible.
5. How to improve memory retention?
Focusing on one thing is one of the best ways to improve memory retention.