How to Use Mnemonics and Improve Your Memory

What are mnemonics?

Well, first of all they are not a spelling mistake! Mnemonics are simply techniques, tools or devices that we can use to remember things which would otherwise be difficult to remember.

It could a short song, a phrase, or something that can encode the difficult-to-remember information in a way that it is easily remembered.

According to Dr. Mercola of America, mnemonics are one of the most effective techniques to improve your memory. They assist by imposing meaning, structure, and organisation on material that your memory does not inherently have.

Interestingly, the mnemonics can be used by anyone at any age. 

So how can you use mnemonics to improve your memory? Here are some tips:

Create your own acronyms

An acronym is a made up combination of letters, and each letter suggests an item you need to remember.

To form an acronym, you’ll need to use the first letter from a group of words. For example, WHO stands for World Health Organisation, and ASAP for as soon as possible. 

Now let’s assume you want to memorize the colours of the rainbow; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Just take the first letter of each item and arrange the letters to form an acronym that you’re familiar with such as: ROY G. BIV. 

Chunking 

George Miller, a professional Harvard psychologist, introduced the chunking concept in his published study on short-term memory.

According to Miller, a person can remember between 5 and 9 things at one time. Well, it can be difficult remembering all those numbers, things, or items. So this technique works by taking several items you have to learn, and then decrease the number of items you’re holding in memory by reducing the size of each item.

For example, if you want to remember the 8 digit number 29684107 easily, you’ll break it up into smaller groups such as 29-68-41-07.  You are now remembering 4 numbers which is easier than 8.

Use rhymes, rhythm, repetition

This is, without a doubt, a great technique to make information more memorable.

The rhythm, rhymes, repetition, as well as melody aid your memory simply by making good use of the auditory encoding and your brain’s notable ability to hoard the audio triggers. With little creativity and fun, they can be applied to general information, single words, formulas, and even the most complex models.

Use of visualisations and association techniques 

Visualisation and association are amongst the best memory tricks. Visualisation can help you convert the abstract information into easy-to-recall mental pictures.

Creating the pictures is a powerful way to focus your mind, a process that helps create original awareness of the material. The images often stick to your memory better than smelling, hearing, or touching something. 

It’s very simple to create visualisation; just close your eyes and imagine what you want to visualise. With this trick, you can recall definitions, lists, math formulas, articles, foreign vocabulary and character dialogue amongst many others.

So please remember – your memory isn’t necessarily failing you, but you might be failing your memory if you don’t practice new learning methods.

Remember, Mayfair Cares

References

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/01/04/memory.aspx

https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/social-sciences-practice/social-science-practice-tut/e/miller-s-law--chunking--and-the-capacity-of-working-memory