Internal Memory Techniques – Part1

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Using a method to help us learn something we want to remember is another way we can make the most of our memory. Internal memory techniques have been around for centuries, so long in fact that one researcher was impelled to call memory improvement “one of the world’s oldest professions.”

The ancient Greeks wrote extensively about the use of internal memory techniques, many of which are the same techniques employed today. Performers who show feats of memory use such techniques to wow audiences with their skill.

Why, then, have so many people found these methods annoying and, quite frankly, more of a obstruction than a help? Actually, the problem is not with the methods themselves, but rather with the way in which they have been taught.

Memory enhancement experts in the past have offered memory systems that are difficult to learn and troublesome to use. Techniques such as the peg or loci technique are great for people who want “super” memories.

The Rhyme Technique

Many people like to help themselves remember information by making up a rhyme for it. While the Rhyme Technique needs a lot of creative energy and a sure talent, all students who like it really take to it.

They find it fun to make up rhymes and, let’s face it, if something is fun, you’re more likely to repeat it. How does the Rhyme Technique work? Let’s take the recipe list from above again, only this time let’s try to learn it using this technique:

  • chicken
  • chicken broth
  • wild rice
  • dried apples
  • walnuts
  • salt
  • pepper

Here’s a rhyme to help you remember this list of ingredients:

“Oh, the chicken swam into the broth. The rice brewed wildly.

The apples dried on walnut husks on the salt and pepper sea.”

You may even find you like to give your rhymes a little tune, if you are musically inclined. Some students who are musicians or composers enjoy the Rhyme Technique. While it may appear complex, make sure to try it. Maybe you’ll uncover an unknown talent!

However, they really aren’t that helpful for the average person. Before we can use it, most of us before we can use it and don’t have hours to use learning a complex internal memory system. And let’s be honest: Are you really that concerned with remembering absolutely everything?

Probably not, if you’re like me and most people I know. You’d just like to remember better.

You will be relieved that the approach to internal memory techniques taught recently is quite different, if you’ve” struggled with memory enhancement in the past. A good program should not be about a special ploy for memory enhancement. And keep in mind that there is no one best way to make more of your memory.

Do we need internal memory techniques to improve our memory? Not necessarily. You can enhance your memory by being attentive to information you need to remember, by identifying and coping efficiently with things in your daily life that limit your memory potential, and by practicing good organizational habits.

However, it is often advisable to memory students to make at least one internal memory technique part of their memory fitness routine, since there are circumstances where they are useful. For example, you may need to remember something “by head,” such as a license plate number, a cell phone number, or a PIN number.

Posted in: Memory Management

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