• paul of Others

    At some point in our lives, we may have trouble recalling where we put our phones or remembering people’s names. Although there is no such thing as a “bad memory,” there are people who are bad at retrieving information from their memories. Luckily, these simple strategies may help improve that process.

    Slowing Down
    If you are having difficulty remembering important things, what you may need is a just a 10 to 15-minute break! Sergio Della Sala and Nelson Cowan of University of Edinburgh and University of Missouri prove this phenomenon.

    In their study, they asked participants with neurological injuries to remember 10 words on a list. The participants are asked to try and remember these words in a busy state during the first trial. Meanwhile, in the second trial, they are given a short break in a dark room after viewing the words on the list.

    The results are astonishing. In the first trial, the participants only remembered 14% of the words. But, in the second trial, the participants remembered 49%!

    So, the next time you are trying to recall important things, taking a break in a dim room might help.

    Making Associations 
    One of the traditional methods of improving memory recall is associations. By making associations and mnemonics to certain memories, you can easily recall and retrieve information from your memories. But, how do you use this strategy?

    You can make visual associations with certain memories. For example, if you are trying to remember a person named Sandy, you might want to associate this person with a beach. In this way, you are making a memorable story that your brain can latch into. The more memorable the association is, the easier to remember.

    Mnemonics, on the other hand, is not that hard to use. Mnemonics can be made by making acronyms or rhymes. For example, if you are trying to remember an address, making an acronym might help you remember it. You might also want to create an easy sing-song rhyme of the address. 

    There is a good reason why planners are popular among college students. Making to-do lists and notes have been one of the most effective ways to remember important things and events. By writing, you are reinforcing an important information into your memory; thereby making it easier to recall. And if you ever forget, you can always go back to your list.

    However, you won’t need to buy an extensive planner to make a to-do list. You can either write on cheap sticky notes or use digital planners. So long as these platforms will enable you to create good to-do lists and reminders, then it’s alright!

    It is important to remember that everyone has their own learning styles. People who are more on visuals may recall better by making visual associations. Others who are more on auditory may remember better with rhymes and sing-song mnemonics. And the few who are kinesthetic learners may improve their memory by making to-do lists and reminders.

    So, as you try these strategies out for size, keep these learning styles in mind. By identifying your learning style, you can pinpoint which strategies can work the best for you!


    Contributed by: Allison Julianne Macasaet, a freelance writer on the side, a student of international relations on the other. Interests include fantasy books, international relations, and lifestyle.