Internal memory techniques are very powerful methods to learn and remember information. Let’s look at how they work:
- They give meaning to what you are trying to learn. Because internal memory techniques give meaning to something you want to remember, they are successful. This works in two ways: In many cases, we can find meaning inherent to the information we are trying to learn. Or we can inflict meaning on material that doesn’t essentially have that meaning to make it more memorable. And something that is meaningful is more memorable.
- They force you to focus attention on what you are trying to learn. You are forced to concentrate, when you apply an internal memory technique. In fact, just using a method makes it impossible not to pay attention. And we already know that we absorb something we want to remember more effectively when we attend to it.
Few Examples To Show That Internal Memory Techniques Are Not Complex
Some of you may believe internal memory techniques are simply too complex for you. If so, think again. Chances are you already use some of these methods without even knowing it. Take a look at these examples:
- What year did Columbus sail for America? Did you say 1492? That’s correct. Chances are you got there by reciting the subsequent rhyme: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Rhymes such as these are a well-liked internal memory technique.
- Consider the following first letter association when you are trying to remember the colors of the rainbow, which my son learned in his kindergarten class: ROY G. BIV. This name is made up of the first letter of each color in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
- How can you remember the correct spelling of the word “stationery”? Well, if in fourth grade you learned the saying, “Stationery is for a letter,” you were given a way of linking the correct spelling of stationery with another word you already knew the correct spelling for. English teachers loved these link methods for learning correct spelling.
- Here’s one from the history books. Need to remember what happened to the wives of Henry VIII? Maybe someone taught you the following rhyme for recalling their fates: Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.
You can see from these examples that internal memory techniques are really part of our everyday world. So don’t be afraid of these methods. They can be simple to learn and use, and can help you remember better. The goal of any memory technique is to help you learn an internal memory technique that you like and will use.
Crossword Puzzles Are Great Mental Exercises
I love doing crossword puzzles. Every morning I rush outside to get my newspapers anticipating those puzzles. As I read through the local and national news, the business, lifestyle and theater sections, I look forward to those puzzles – saving them for the very end, like some great reward or delicious, tempting dessert. What? You don’t do that?
Most newspaper crossword fans know that the complexity level of a specific puzzle is definitely related to the day of the week – the puzzles steadily become more challenging as we get closer to the weekend. Crossword puzzles are a good example of mental aerobics, tasks or exercises that involve mental effort.
The goal of these exercises is to “shake up” our usual mental assumptions and force us to think of novel answers.
A successful brainteaser or puzzle often gives us a moment of enjoyment and satisfaction when we stumble upon the answer – at that moment a “light bulb” of understanding and insight turns on in our brain. Some experts believe this procedure connects with the actual “stretching and toning” workout we are aiming to accomplish for our brain cells.