If you are like me, memorizing things was one thing I was celebrating the end of when I threw my graduation cap up into the air. Finally, no more cramming information into my brain and hoping it stayed long enough to score well on a test. While this approach sounds ideal for the student who is sick and tired of school, it is not the best game plan for anyone who wants to keep their memory working at full capacity. Let me explain.
Our brains are much like muscles that must be exercised regularly or they shrink, lose strength, and essentially become weaker and weaker over time. The more our brains get exercise in the area of memorization, the BETTER they get at remembering, not worse. The myth that people start to lose their memory with age isn’t a factor of getting older at all, it is all about people ceasing to exercise their brain in that way allowing their memory to get worse over time.
Exercising the brain comes naturally for school children who are constantly working on learning and memorizing new materials, but for those of us who have moved past a formal education, continuing education becomes essential for memory maintenance and enhancement. If cared for properly, memory can be one of those things that get better with age, not worse.
How does Memory Work?
In order for us to make a memory stick into our brain it is essential that a link is made between information. Our brain creates mental structures and framework for us to store our facts and information inside. The more we actively work on remembering, the more frameworks full of facts and information we are able to hold.
5 Memorization Techniques that have Proven Successful
- Mnemonic Devices: This tool can work by using a little rhyme or phrase to help in the memorization process. One example is the mnemonic phrase for math that helps students memorize the correct order of operations. The correct order is: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. This can be more easily remembered with the phrase “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.”
- The Peg System: This tool is another type of mnemonic device that uses numbers and a rhyming word tied to that specific number. Then, a memory is formed using that word which is included the information to be memorized. An example might be 1. Fun: (and then tie the information to be memorized into the word fun. 2. Glue: (the information to be memorized must include the association with glue). 3. Tree, 4. Store, 5. Hive, etc.
- Repetition: Although this is not the most fun way to memorize things, repeating actions or words over and over again has proven to be a successful strategy.
- Journey Method: This tool is another type of mnemonic device that involves taking an imaginary journey with specific well known landmarks where information can be linked in a systematic structure and order as you “travel” from one place to another. The journey could be anything from the route you take to work every day to a journey through a favorite video game. The landmarksyou use should be clear in your mind and then the additional information can be tied to it. If using your route to work in correlation with memorizing a grocery list, driveway could be: Salt will cure an icy driveway on a freezing day.
- Graphic Organizers: Examples of graphic organizers are things such a Venn diagram, Cause and Effect charts or Webs. These types of tools help you to sort through information you are learning and categorize it on paper first, and then in your brain.
Summing it Up
Memorizing takes a lot of mental exercising. Keep your memory strong by continuing to exercise your brain long after the days of your formal education are over. You can do this by continuing your education throughout life. Find something you are passionate about learning, and you will likely enjoy the process much more. Whether it’s a new skill, a new language, or just the challenge of memorizing your grocery list, find ways to test yourself.
If you do, your memory will still be in great shape long after your body requires a cane to hobble around. However, if you want to maintain the whole package from top to bottom, you may want to stop by this site for helpful information on home gym equipment that will keep your body as strong as your mind.