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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Secret to Improving Your Memory

I open myself to the wisdom within
Susan J Meyerott, Affirmation Artist

What's the Secret to Improving Your Memory?

'Your brain remembers meaning, not facts. Want to remember something? Give it more meaning.'

You hold the key to remembering everything you want to remember. 

'In a nutshell, the more meaning you give your life, experiences, or studies, the more you'll remember.'

Create Better Memories Through Creating Better Stories

Years ago I took an epic bicycle trip down the West Coast from Vancouver Island, Canada to Southern California with four fellow bicyclists. 

Cycling through the towns and camping along the coast imprinted details on my brain that I easily recall 35 years later whenever I visit any of the coastal areas traveled. 

Why is that? We're back to the role meaning plays in creating better recall. My total immersion experience created deeper meaning for me and my body. The more we experience life through what we see, hear, feel, taste and touch the more we remember. 

Today the signature smells and sights of the beaches immediately ignite my memories with great detail--as the memories were locked in by my full body experience with all my senses engaged to create meaningful experiences.

I can't hear Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major without  thinking of this grand trip. The first night we arrived back home I heard this elegant piece of music for the first time as we all crashed on the floor of a darkened room--providing me an epic ending to an epic trip.

What's the so what of my story for you? The more actively you step in to experience your life, the better your memory.

Create Better Recall by Turning Meaningless Pieces of Data into Stories

But what if you are trying to memorize facts for a test? 

Even if you are just trying to memorize facts for a test--if you want to recall more facts weave them into stories to give them more meaning. 

Studies have shown when you turn meaningless gibber into real words your recall of the words improves; and when you use the real words in a sentence your memory is even better. But your best recall of facts will result from you creating meaningful context for those facts by weaving stories.

Nonsense vs Real Words  We have an easier time memorizing and recalling real words with meaning--boy, girl, love--than we do nonsense words--fra, ciz, gra. 

Words in a Sentence If you take real words and weave them into a sentence, you give them more meaning and remember more. 

Facts in a Story  The stories we weave are what we remember easily. When you turn meaningless pieces of information into whole stories  (real or made up) you'll remember more 'facts'.

Need Proof? Take the One Minute Test


Test yourselfStudy the chart below for one minute, then test your recall by writing down as many of the letters with its associated shapes

A simple test to show your brain remembers meaning, not facts

This is a very easy way to show you how easy it is to remember something if it has meaning.

1. Take one minute to to memorize the shapes associated with letters 'a' through 'i'. 
2. Give yourself one minute to test your recall by recording as many of the letters with it's associated shape you remember without looking. (no cheating!)
3. Check your answers against the chart above.
4. Click on  How to remember 100% to see what happens when you add meaning.

Want More Good Memories?

Get out and live your life to the fullest. Seek more meaningful experiences.

You'll deepen the meaning of your stories when you give up being an 'arm chair expert' observing life and become an active participant in your life instead (i.e. one who carries out active experiments to test out and experience life). 

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For more than 30 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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