“The best thing about memories is that you can share them,” says Josh Thomas.
How does the brain remember information? There is lots of research when looking at the optimum conditions for memory.
To be able to remember, it is important to visualise. Visualising is a powerful practice as we can remember a person’s face more than a person’s name. When memorising, it is important to attach metaphors and imagery to the information. When visualising, try to use as many senses as you can. If using all of your senses through visualisation it allows the mind to collect and remember information easily.
The story method can be used to remember information through lists. Learning to take something abstract into a concrete image, is the effective way to remember your work. Imagining the impossible and putting your memory into a story, is a very effective way to remember a set of information. An example of using visualisation is remembering a list of “cat, ball, string, car, study, house, arrow, tree, flower, pen, and hammer”. It is simplified putting it into a story such as, “the cat chased the ball of string, which was being carried by a car where it moved out of the house from the study, across the tree, through the flowers, round the neighbor’s gardener who was hammering with the daughter sitting writing with a pen.” This is much more easy to remember.
Another method of memory is the journey method. This method originates from the Ancient Greeks, and can link geographical locations to an image or item someone wants to learn more about. Taking a mental walk-through with real world locations allows the person to see it as a real event.
When you are seeing and experiencing information, it’s most effective to make it unusual in some way. Making the information unusual by taking it out of context, will enable you to collect the information better, as the reward, and long-term memory stick together. We tend to remember activities that are unusual because of excitement it brings as it is out of the ordinary.
Evolving and using the brain in ways we do not usually use it, helps to learn new skills and new tasks. Studies have shown learning a new skill of just 30 minutes a day helps foster growth of memory.
Using the brain to experience the same habits in the day can allow creativity to flourish. For Stephen King, as a musician, sitting down every time in the same chair, having the same glass of water, keeping his papers arranged well, and listening to the same music, allowed him to focus on his work. Having good memory helps revitalise a bank where memories store emotions, processes and skills.
Benjamin Franklin would rise at 5am to have an early bath, review his business day, and have breakfast, that way he would be focused by 8am. Using mental energy when you are optimally performing will help you achieve your best. The time of the day is important as body rhythms are different for everyone.
A strong sleep schedule is important for transferring short-term memory into long-term memory. In doing so, you will have a sharp brain where you can focus and take in new information, without having your motivation impacted severely. However, the brain can quickly recover from short term sleep deprivation, for example, when you go to a party. Sleep consolidates memory and is essential for taking in new information. Studies have shown new memories form through the hippocampal and thalamocortical circuits during sleep and impact processes in memory. This is because the brain is linking new neurons at night.
It is essential to create a diet through consuming Omega 3 and vegetables. Omega 3 are normal constitutes of cell membranes that are essential for the brain to function, alongside drinking enough water. They have an effect on the human brain development as it supports proper blood flow to the brain. Having enough energy to be able to consolidate memory and having plasticity, all affects learning.
Memory is that laser lock focus that enables you to bring new information to the table and enables skills that can lead to new opportunities. It helps foster deeper relationships, a sharper mind and the formation of ideas. Remembering information, names, facts and figures is important in today’s society.