The A to Z Guide to Life, Letter M for Memory. Monday February 29, 2016
Negative stressors can really aggravate my Moodscope score. I'm guessing this is true for you too? One of life's great stressors for me is forgetting things. In fact, I think my three greatest excuses are: I misunderstood, I ran out of time, and I forgot!
Needing to remember things opens a psychological loop. It is only when the 'thing' is done that the loop is closed. Between opening and closing there is tension. So, if I could show you some ways to recall more of what you need to remember, I'm certain your life would feel less stressful.
Here's my recipe. It's got three ingredients:
1) Use what you know;
2) Use where you go;
3) Use on the go.
Firstly, there's loads of 'stuff' in your life that you know like the back of your hand. You can use this to recall what you need to remember. For example, if you're wanting to learn information, you can piggy-back on the fact that you know the layout of your home. Placing sticky-notes around the home can jog your memory by walking around your home in your mind. Usually, with a little rehearsal, your mind will use what you know (the layout of your home) to remind you of the sticky-notes you stuck all over the place. I've had success with nurses and aromatherapists who have needed to remember anatomical facts. They've stuck the names of parts of anatomy around their homes and then 'collected' that information by doing a mental tour. Location, location, location just works.
Secondly, use where you go. You have habits – paths you follow every day in a trance. So if you want to remember something in the morning, place it in the way of your habit path. For example, need to remember your laptop? Stick it in front of the door so that you cannot miss it! Everything should have its own place – everything in its place and a place for everything.
Thirdly, realise that most of us remember things at the wrong time. We're in bed or in the shower or driving when our mind reminds us of something we need. This is inconvenient. But there's a way around it. I use a peg-system where I rhyme numbers with objects. One is a bun, two is shoes, three is a tree, four is a door. Like a skipping song.
My 'pegs' never change. So they become stable parts of my mental cloakroom where I 'hang' what I want to remember. Let's say I've remembered it's someone's birthday and I need a card. I'd make a link between the one-bun and the person's birthday by seeing a bun with a candle on it. Their name would be in icing on the bun. When I get to somewhere I can use a pencil and paper, I'll go into my mental cloakroom and have the thought, "Bun!" Amazingly, my mind will then remind me of what I linked to the bun. It just works.
Remembering more reduces my stressors, so I hope you find this useful too. I've tons more on this, so just ask if you'd like more.
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.