Can memory skills be improved?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by hicks, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. hicks

    hicks Member

    Hi folks,
    Is it possible to improve your memory? I have problems remembering all kinds of things, from appointments, birthdays, names. Other people seem to be able to recall facts with ease. I just think it would be very beneficial to me if I could improve in this area.
    My question is, can a person improve their memory skills, or is it something you are stuck with? I've read about techniques like association, or memorising lists of things by creating an imaginery journey with stops along the way. Unfortunately I'm not very imaginative, so this takes a lot of effort for me.
    Does anyone have any practical advice or tips that I could try, to help me improve?

  2. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Tip #1 Stay away from alcohol. It has been proven that alcohol destroys brain cells.

    Tip #2 Write down the important things, don't worry about forgetting the unimportant things, then you can ignore tip #1.
  3. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Whats this thread about again?
  4. Di B

    Di B Member

    It depends on the type of things you need to memorise - I am great with detail and with music but hopeless with names and dates!

    If you need to commit something to memory quickly then repeat the word/phrase 10 times in a row to yourself - it is more likely to stick in your subconscious then.

    If you have a dentist appointment on the 24th at 10am pick a simple association - 24 dentists extracting 10 teeth! A scary picture you aren't going to forget.

    Working out picture associations for months or days of the week can be helpful as you have time to think about and remember these. One I use for the days of the week are the colours of the rainbow - easy to use and apply to any pictures I want to put in my head. For months I tend to find thinking in seasons helps.

    The brain training games available nowadays also seem to help - or at least sharpen your memory. Memory needs to be used to keep it at its most effective - if you don't use it you are more likely to forget things.

    Hope this is useful.
  5. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) - before anyone asks.

    But isn't Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday easier to remember?
  6. needmorevodka

    needmorevodka Member

    Some very interesting suggestions here :)
  7. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Well, that does it for me, apart from cold meat for brekkies...ugh ;)
  8. hicks

    hicks Member

    Hm, interesting. Has anyone read this book?

    I've tried the Nintendo brain training game, and I'm a little skeptical about this. I think it simply improves your ability to perform the specific tasks in the game. This happens with any repetitive activity. I'm not sure it improves overall mental ability.

    I'm more interested in the ability to remember facts. Some people seem to have effortless recall of things they did months ago. My memories have a habit of fading away pretty rapidly.
  9. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    My mum is addicted to her Nintendo DS and does Dr Kawashima's Brain Training games, which she thinks help her memory and her brain power in general.
  10. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    A good friend of mine who shall remain nameless once received a solicitors letter reminding him he hadn't paid for a book purchase - the book was of course about how to improve your memory. True story - isn't it Bob T!
  11. Di B

    Di B Member

    Not when you are making pictures up in your head! If you have to go a friends house on Friday you can think of them with a big blue head! :-D Much easier than trying to picture a Friday (though maybe frying something might have the same effect!
  12. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    So I have to remember the correct order of the colours of the rainbow, then apply the right one to the appropriate day of the week and the friend's head. :confused:

    Hmmm...being a simple male, I just write in the appropriate space on my calendar "Visit Fred 7pm". It works for me (of course I have to remember to check the calendar frequently) :cool:
  13. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    There are many good tips in the books by Tony Buzan. 2 techniques I use are mindmapping for facts and figures - also great for speeches and interviews, and chunking. Most numbers can be broken down into easier to remember chunks. Example: my work mobile number:
    07 - all mobiles begin 07
    88 - similar to my home phone
    1582 -same as a number I used to dial a lot
    xxx - last three - the only ones I actually had to learn.

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