Our memories are important. Our memories make us who we are. But what if you remembered everything? That may not be a good thing since getting rid of old memories helps to form new ones. Perfect memories retain the information you need and forget what you don’t need.
For Canadians, memory loss is our second greatest health concern after cancer. Remembering and forgetting is becoming increasingly difficult because we are constantly overwhelmed by information such as pin numbers, alarm codes, and passwords for our cappuccino makers. There is simply so much to forget. Are you one of those people who forget names, and where you put your purse, wallet, or keys? How about where you parked your car?
Humans have been forgetting things as long as we’ve been remembering things. Sailors learn to navigate by remembering songs that give them directions. These songs are kind of like a GPS. Ancient humans used to sing songs to remember things. Most children learn the alphabet by singing a song. This proves that music and songs do help us remember things.
But singing songs isn’t the only method to remember things. Dave Farrow, an instructor who teaches memory courses, helps business owners remember their clients’ names through visualization. Studies show that people remember best visually. Using acronyms also helps. Do you have a technique to remember things?
In London, England, world memory championships take place each year. These memory experts train their brains and block out distractions by using glasses, ear plugs, and juggling balls. It’s quite like an Olympics of the mind. To recall numbers, they simply turn them into easy-to-remember shapes.
The neurons in our brains store different memories. When we remember something it activates our neurons that convey that particular experience by following a certain pathway. Our memories fade because these pathways weaken, and then we begin to forget. But our neurons are resilient, and they continuously grow.
The trick is to combine physical and mental exercise to improve your memory. Brain gyms are becoming more and more popular. They provide a place to exercise your brain and learn new things. Even learning how to dance helps.
Taking pictures is another way that we capture memories and images. Sense cams are being used by people who suffer from severe memory loss. These cameras take pictures every 30 seconds and provide a visual map of your everyday activities.
Forgetting is an essential part of being human. But can you keep your memories and make them better? Yes. All you need to do is socialize, visualize, exercise, sing, and keep learning new things.