How Good is Your Memory and How Can We Increase This Trick to Keep Yourself Away from Getting Angry

Memory is the storage and retrieval of what has been learned or experienced.

Memory has been said to be the diary of life we all carry with us. Practically, all of our actions and reactions depend on our memory. Most of us use only five percent to ten percent of our memory capabilities.

Memory is the storage and retrieval of what has been learned or experienced. The process of memory involves three steps : encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding (a recording system in your brain) the transforming of information so that the nervous system can process it. Storage (saving the information) a process by information can be maintained over a period of time. Retrieval ( calling up the stored information) the process of obtaining information that has been stored in memory. Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory and Long Term Memory are the three stages of memory.

Recognition, Recall and Relearning are the three methods of measuring memory. Recall is the term for the active reconstruction of information already known. The recognition memory process allows us to identify objects ideas, or situations that have not been encountered before. Eidetic memory is the ability to remember with great accuracy visual information on the basis of short-term exposure. About 5 percent of children have eidetic memory,a form of “photographic memory”. Echoic memory holds auditory information for 1 or 2 seconds. Iconic memory is the term for memories that hold visual information.

Some psychologists theorize that a change in the neuronal structure of nerves occurs during learning. Others contend that learning is based on molecular or chemical changes in the brain. In the memory process, you use your senses to encode and establish a memory. You use acoustic codes when you try to remember something by saying it out loud or to yourself, repeatedly. When you try to remember things trying to make sense of them, you are using semantic codes. One mistake that people make when they remember things is confabulation, which is recalling information that has not been stored in memory.

Relating new information to information that is already known is elaborate rehearsal. A reconstructive memory has been simplified, distorted, or otherwise changed by one’s experiences and attitudes.Memories fade over time as a result of decay. Blocking of embarrassing or frightening life experience from memory is called repression. Amnesia is the loss of memory. The blocking of memories by previous or subsequent events is known as interference.

• Seven Simple Steps to Improving Your Memory

Memory is important to every human and even all living organism. Practically, all of our actions and reactions depend on our memory. Memory allows us to retrieve events and situations from the past and from moments ago. Memory has been defined as processes by which people and other organisms encode, store, and retrieve information (“Memory (psychology)”, 2008). Simply put, memory is the act of storing and recalling information which you have learned or experienced. Most of us use only five percent to ten percent of our memory capabilities. How can we increase this? Some of the simple steps are outlined below:                                                 

• Conviction and Determination                                                                      

• Create a relaxed environment

• Pay attention and concentrate

• Associate information with what you already know

• Use memory techniques

• Develop healthy habits

• Practice, practise, practise

The first step is to convince yourself that you do have a good memory and that this would improve. Most people have a misconception that they have a bad memory. There is no such thing as a bad memory. There are can only be trained or untrained memories. Remove the thought that you have a bad memory and decide to improve it. You need to commit yourself to the task and revel in your achievements. As you go on, you test yourself. It would motivate you when you are happy with your success.

The next step is to monitor your learning environment. The place where you want to study should be free and not cluttered with books and the likes. The memory works in an organised way, so your environment also should be organised. The brain cannot do much productive work under stress. Any learning process done under such condition would amount to nothing. It is important to relax the brain so as to accommodate enough facts as possible during the learning process.

Also, concentration is vital to the learning process. You cannot remember something you never learned in the first place. This means if you never encode it into your memory, you would never be able to recall it. It takes about eight seconds of intent focus to process a piece of information through your hippocampus and into the appropriate memory centre (“Improving Your Memory”, 2009). Do one thing at a time. No multitasking. This is why a quiet and relaxed atmosphere is needed for constructive learning.

The brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons. These neurons are like links or pathways for data storage. These neurons are also linked together by trillions of dendrites. The brain tends to store recent information by forming links to previously stored data. It works like a computer by organizing information in such a way that, for instance, science-related information is stored together in one compartment, arts-related information is stored together in another compartment. As you read, try to create associations. Create vivid mental images. Let’s say for example, you are reading about atomic bombs. You can try and link this to the atomic bombs dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US military, which you must have learned at one time or the other during your high school history lesson. This images formed makes it easier to recall the big picture (the atomic bomb) later on when it is needed.

The use of memory techniques cannot be overemphasized. There are several memory techniques in use by different people. One of the most effective memory techniques is the use of mnemonics. The word mnemonic was derived from the name of the Greek goddess, Mnemosyne, and it has been used as far back as the Greek civilisation. An example is the ‘nonsense word’, ROYGBIV. Each letter stands for a colour in the light spectrum. You can create your own mnemonics as you read. Mnemonics can be in form of sentences, as in “Every Good Boy Does Fine” which represents the musical notes of E, G, B, D and F; Acronyms, as in ROYGBIV; Rhymes and Alliteration, as in “thirty days hath September, April, June and November”; etc. Mnemonics form links and associations between new information and old information using facts and figures. Other memory techniques include the Number/rhyme technique, Alphabet technique, Mind maps (Memory maps).

Healthy habits are vital to memory improvement. Some of these habits include regular body exercises, stress management, good sleep habits, avoidance of smoking, and good nutrition. These habits aid in the healthy development of the brain. Regular exercise improves the oxygen supply to your brain. Cortisol, which is a stress hormone, when accumulated in large quantities can damage the hippocampus which is vital in the whole memory process. You must have noticed that when you do not sleep at night, you become tired and unable to concentrate the next day. Sleep is necessary for consolidation of memory.

The last step is to practise, practise, and practise. Note the verb. It is very important that you practise. If you do not practice, you forget all the learning techniques and you are back in square one. Practice makes perfection.

Your memory is inexhaustible. The only limits are the ones that you allow by your own thinking.

Seven Ways to Keep Yourself Away From Getting Angry1. Pray every morning and evening to keep mentally fit and pure.

2. Always try to avoid those people with negative thoughts and who uses aggressive words.

3. If ever you get involve in quarrel. Try to keep short.

4. Meditate for 10minutes a day.

5. Keep yourself busy by doing household chores in the weekends and holidays.

6. Spent most of the time learning, listening and reading.

7. Use few and effective words during conversation and respect individual privacy.

Following the above made me feel like a human.


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Mark Cruz
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