you have any trouble remembering dates, phone numbers,
PIN's, social insurance numbers and so on? Don’t
worry... From a practical perspective, we remember something
best if we learn it in a context that we understand,
or if it is emotionally important to us, or if we associate/connect
it to another meaningful or predominant piece of information
or fact. Motivation is also a powerful stimulus to memory
is proven that we remember things by association:
every piece of information in our memory is connected to
other pieces in some way, our brain is not good at remembering
long lists of unrelated numbers, arbitrary or nonsense
words, or lengthy grocery lists.
will teach you a simple 'association technique' to help
you easily remember numbers. The average person can hold
a set of about 7 digits in his/her working memory at
any given time. However, thanks to the mnemonic
method shown here you will memorize many more and keep
them in your memory for a long time!
There are a lot of different mind techniques to help you
memorize numbers and dates quickly. One of the best, known
as the "consonant system" (or "phonetic
system"), involves associating numbers with
Each number is
assigned a consonant based on some kind
of recognizable relationship between the two, for example:
0 = Z or S (Zero starts
1 = T or D (one downstroke)
2 = N (capital N rotated 90°-clockwise
resembles the digit 2)
3 = M (capital M rotated 90°-clockwise
resembles the digit 3)
4 = R (capital R looks like 4 backwards;
R is also the last letter of FOUR)
5 = L (Roman Numeral for 50 is L)
6 = G (the digit 6 looks like a G)
7 = K or C (capital K contains
two mirrored 7’s)
8 = F or B (cursive F and
capital B look like a figure-8)
9 = P (capital P is a mirror-image of the
can associate any figure with any consonant, but the key
is to memorize one letter for each digit.
Since nouns and images are easier to remember than numbers,
you must therefore convert each number or group of numbers
into consonants, insert vowels, and form a word (or a short
sentence) to be subsequently used to form an association.
this is how it works:
Suppose you had to memorize that the astronomer Isaac
Newton was born in 1643. To do this,
you simply substitute the numbers for letters.
In this case: 1643 = DGRM = TGRM
DGRM or TGRM does not make any sense, so just add vowels
between the consonants to make meaningful words and develop
an amusing way to associate DGRM or TGRM with Newton. Use
your imagination and try to make your word or sentence funny,
impressive and/or outrageous (the more creative you use the
letters, the better you will remember the date).
• DoG-eaR Me: "dog-ear
me!" says the page on Newton's biography.
aGRee Me: "to
agree me, you have to study Astronomy" suggested
Newton to his scholarship...
• TaG ouR aiM:
the planets ask Newton "please, tag our aim on the wall
can also make words and phrases out of phone numbers.
After a short while this becomes automatic, and you will
be surprised how easy it is to form memorable words out of
seemingly random numbers.
31415926 (the first 8 digits of pi) = MTRTLPNG = "my
77133660 (a made up phone number) = CKDMMGGS = "cooked
You can use this online crossword
solver tool to help you form words out of a seemingly
random string of consonants.
we use our memory skills
There are two basic modes of use:
Explicit use of memory - Involving
conscious efforts to recover information through memory
processes. We use explicit memory throughout the day,
such as remembering the time of an appointment or recollecting
an event from years ago.
Implicit use of memory - Availability
of information through mind processes without the application
of any intentional or conscious effort to encode or recover
the information. A form of implicit memory used everyday
is called 'procedural memory'.
sensory information creates the perception of
an event into working memory. Reinforcement and
arousal enable to consolidate events into long-term
Memory is divided into 3 main categories based on the amount of time
the memory lasts: the shortest memories lasting only milliseconds are called ‘immediate
memories’ or ‘short-term memories’ (STM),
memories lasting about a minute are called ‘working memories’,
and memories lasting anywhere from an hour to many years are called ‘long-term
Each type of memory is tied to a particular type of brain function.
Long-term memory, the class that we are most familiar with, is associated with
the preservation of information for retrieval at any later time: it is actually
used to store facts/information, observations, and the stories of our lives. Working
memory is used to hold the same kind of information for a much shorter amount
of time, often just long enough for the information to be useful for practical
tasks such as reasoning and language comprehension.
Immediate memory is typically so short-lived that we do not even
think of it as memory; the brain uses immediate memory as a ‘collecting
bin’, so that, for instance, when your eyes jump from point to point across
a scene the individual snapshots are collected together into what seems like
a smooth panorama.
way to categorize memory is to divide memories about
what something is from memories about how something
is done. Skills like catching a baseball or riding
a bicycle are called ‘nondeclarative memories’ or ‘procedural
memories’ because we perform those activities
automatically, with no conscious recollection of how
we learned the skills. ‘Declarative memories’,
on the other hand, are memories of facts and events
that we can consciously recall and describe verbally.
best way to keep the mind engaged
Tackling unfamiliar tasks or new ways of thinking can
help develop underused brain connections and boost your
Among other suggestions: regularly carry out brain gym
exercises. Take up word games like scrabble, crossword
puzzles and acrostics. Solve riddles and brain
teasing puzzles. Memorize favorite poems or famous
passages, talks or speeches,
like "I have a Dream" of Martin Luther King.
Read challenging books or
articles that encourage you to expand your interests
Practice other-handedness. If you're right-handed, try
sometimes writing your notes with your left hand.
antioxidants such as blueberries, nuts, spinach,
or red peppers. Include omega-3
fatty acids in your diet, found in deep-sea fish
and fish oil...