The uses of human memory
Can you imagine how life will be if people do not have the capacity of remembering? We rely in our memory every day. Without memory, we will not be able to recall the past thus moving towards the future will also be difficult. Without memory, there will be no sense of life continuity. Learning and experiences will be useless as both need retention for them to be manifested through change. If people forget everything that was taught to them, language and speech will be impossible. Fact is no one can function without remembering anything. Recollection of the past and making plans for the days to come all need memory. Human memory influences the ability to think and understand the behaviour of mankind. The world will be nothing if no one has the capacity to retain information. The capacity to remember is this important that it has to be taken care of, preserved and even enhanced.
How to improve one’s memory
Memory, being very vital to human existence and survival has to be given necessary attention. It is not enough to know only few things as everything that one has gone through plays an enormous role in shaping and developing the person. Given these reasons and more, memory improvement is getting much more relevant but enduring in the process of remembering something is sometimes frustrating. The fact is, our brain just can’t provide us easy information all the time, further digging is sometimes a tough work. To avoid the problem of forgetting improvement of one’s capacity to memorize things is so important, to do that, here are the simple ways of making it possible:
» When remembering something, it is important to give necessary mental effort. This means that, the person has to understand it, organize the idea in mind and ask questions about it. The material should be related to oneself or to past experiences, in this way, the storage of the information is ensured in the memory bank.
» Give pictures to the things that are being memorized. It is easy for people to know what a church is because of the look of the building, the cross, the statues, the chair arrangement and all the necessary objects that the mind pictures out. Images are truly very important for easy recall or retrieval of the information.
» Since the mind stores organized information better than disorganized bits of ideas, it is then necessary to properly arrange the material and structure it properly for easy remembering. It is also a plus to collect all the information and put them together to make one whole idea. Outlining the text or writing them will definitely make it easier to recall.
» For long enumerations, creativity can surely be of great help: mnemonic devices, incorporating the ideas in a song or making a poem out of them can be highly useful. For instance, rhymes are fun as much as they easily stick in the mind.
» Making scenarios of different tone and mood to memorize people’s names is another way of making a solid recall. Incidents where certain figures are prominent may be used to make a trademark for each character. For example, associate the person with things that happened in the past like a fight, argument or contests. Try to relieve the emotional state or mood during that time to give the brain more information, thus, more memories to store for easy remembrance.
» Use study aids. An example of this is the SQ3R method. This pertains to survey, questions, read, recite and review. With reading and recitation, materials are better remembered when one does not only read them quietly but recites them or reads them aloud.
» Create a story out of the items. Relate them to one another and make the story meaningful that depicts real life situation, in this case, recall becomes easier. Go over the story and pick out the ideas in order.
Use all senses
» Try to use all the senses when storing information. Sometimes, it is not enough to only see something. With only a single reference for recall makes an object, event or material easily forgotten. When one makes a lot of back-up information or trademarks like hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting supplements are made available just for one to be able to recall that one important memory.
L. Colendrino-Bucu, M. Guerrero, B. Pascual, R. Arre-San Mateo: Introduction to Psychology, 1993