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6 “Powerful” Ways to Commit Information to Memory

How to Commit Information to Memory

First things first, you don’t forget what you read because your brain is incapable of retaining the information you feed it. Your brain is working just fine. That just needed to be put out of the way. Okay, let’s move on.

It often amazes us how we forget or just can’t seem to coherently recollect things we had committed so much time to understand and memorize. We ask ourselves in frustration why we have forgotten so quickly something we put in so much effort to commit to memory. There is no one that was made with a bad memory, there can only be an untrained memory. You need to train and exercise your memory so that you can maximize its potential. In this post, you will discover six “powerful association strategies” that will help commit more easily new facts to memory:

1. Associate more senses with the information:

It’s a proven biological fact that the memory is essentially a visual and largely, a sensory mechanism. The more senses are associated with the new data received, the stronger and more consolidated your memory of that information will be. You do not have to be a genius or visionary to be able to visualize something or create a mental image of something in your head using the neural raw materials gathered from past experiences at your disposal.

If on your return from a vacation trip, you were asked to give a colorful description of what you encountered, it would most likely be pretty easy for you to do. The summary of this point is to visualize, share with others and possibly act out what you want to remember. The key here is to be a bit dramatic in your imagination with the information you’re trying to retain.

2. Associate strong and positive emotions with the information:

Strong memories are also created from strong emotional associations. These emotional connections could be the day you left home for university, that moment you made so many promises to your family that you wouldn’t let them down in school, the day you tried out something for the very first time, the day you first met in person someone you hold in high regard for his or her achievements and so on.

You can replay this process by trying to imagine what it is you’re trying to memorize as looking more weird, more beautiful, or simply different in a way that makes you feel some sort of strong but positive emotion.

3. Apply intensity to these associations:

Another factor that makes the sensory and emotional associations create more lasting impressions is their intensity. When they are more intense, they will produce stronger bonds that are retained in the brain quickly, thereby causing you to recall the information more easily when it comes time. These are known as “memory evacuators.” Actually, nothing like “memory evacuators” exists in the dictionary or in academic literature. It’s just made up. In fact, chances are that if you google the phrase, this blog post will the number one reference listed.

Yeah yeah, I know that this point already sounds like the previous one. Don’t blame me for trying to make the content seem more packed with wisdom than it actually is. Seriously though, if you apply your mind to what you’re learning with more intensity, your brain will take it seriously.

4. Associate the new information with meaning:

Another effective way to commit a new fact to memory is to associate it with some meaning. When something has some form of meaning to you, it’s very likely that you’ll remember it easily. Again, pardon the redundancy and lack of originality, and just go with the flow. So, a good way you can create meaning is with the use of language patterns.

For instance, if you can create an acronym out of a total list of words you need to remember, they will take on a new meaning.  Let’s say you need to remember the names of mineral constituents and nutrients in a meal, say calcium, iron, protein, vitamins, carbohydrate, and magnesium, you may give it an acronym like P.I.M.V.I.C, pronounced peem-veek, each letter standing for the first letter of each mineral. If you prefer to make this into a sentence that has more meaning, then you can say something like “Please, Inside My Van Is Cool.” It will hence, be easier to remember the nutrients since you have formed a sentence that makes some meaning to you.

5. Associate the information with a weirdness effect:

The weirdness effect is an important factor in association. People tend to remember things that are outrageous, out of place or unusually weird. Yeah I know, I’m repeating myself again and this tab probably deserves to be closed right now. After all, you’ve probably got something better to do right now. In case for some reason, you like hearing stuff drummed into your head repeatedly, then keep reading. There’s really more to all this.

Assuming we had a list of words to be committed to memory and words like Rambo, Zigzag or Kalakuta were included to the list, you would be able to recall them even if they did not fit into the category. The reason is that those words are unique or stand out and that makes them memorable. A good way to improve your memory’s retention of a new fact is to add a weird effect to them. You see where this is going right.

6. Repeat your use or application of the information as often as possible:

Of course, how could we forget the obvious brute force attack strategy for dealing with problems? You do remember things or information or whatever it is you’re trying to commit to memory better when you repeat them or more precisely, repeat your use or application of them as often as you can. Think of this as the fuel for your memory engine. Without repetitive or regular use of some memory, we basically lose it. Period.

Hope this article made some sense and was in some way helpful. If you were unimpressed, just know that it’s probably normal. It seems a bit difficult to be impressed with anything these days. That might just be because there’re so many things calling for our attention now more than ever. Who knows? Cheers!

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