Home / Show New Posts
Show Older Posts

About this Blog
I seem to have a lot going on in my head. Not all of it makes sense. But that can be a good thing. Read a few posts and let me know what you think.

About the Author
Just a regular guy who seems to spend a bit too much time awake at night. You can reach me at thoughts---@---42blog.--com.

Strange Thoughts

Because if I keep all of this inside, I'll go nuts!

2007-07-02 - 10:35:31

Memory stimulation technique

When I was a teenager, I had problems remembering which actor played in a particular movie (or other unimportant things). Since this was before the popularization of the Internet and the IMDB, finding answers to the second question was a complicated matter. This search for who did what sometimes obsessed me and I was frustrated by my lack of memory. Of course, occasionally the answer would pop in my head and I'd let out a quiet sigh of relief. After a while, I started wondering if I might learn to better understand myself and speed up the recovery of these memories. I started listening to my thought process (if such a thing is possible) and noticed that memories bring back other memories.

You know how that works. If you let your mind wander, you'll go from one memory to the other, or one thought to the other. I then tried liberating my mind from the multitude of thoughts that go through it at any given moment. I guess this is a lot like meditation. Except I'm not trying to free my mind of thought, I'm trying to explore and observe one single thought.

You're not really concentrating on that thought, it's a bit more like loving it and letting it be. You observe it but you try not to influence it. If you do that enough, you learn to see tiny little details that exist with it that you hadn't really noticed before. It might be a sound, an image, a smell. But more often than not, for me, it was feelings. Nothing that can be named such as love or hate. Just some tiny little emotional vibrations that exist with a particular memory. I couldn't even name them, but they're there like some long lost echo.

So what's the link between this and my memory? I found out that these little details that surround a memory also help find the thing I forgot about. I'll explain how I do it and then I'll give you an example. I call this technique the "memory massage". I think of what I'm looking for and then I let that thought linger while I observe it. After a while, like when you hit a gong, the memory looses it's intensity. So I "actively" think about it again and observe. After a few times, my observations help me build a picture that is clearer and clearer, bringing me closer to my objective. Most of the time, I'll remember what I had forgotten.

Here's en example: you're looking for who played in a movie you saw a while back, You have some vague impression of who you're looking for but you just can't put your finger on it. Well concentrate on that impression for a second or two, and then observe it, Try to notice the little details and feelings that surround it, After a few moments, concentrate on it again. Notice that there was something that reminds you of another detail. A hat, for example. Now you have some vague recollection and a hat, Think about everything again. Try to notice something else. Do this a few more times. You'll end up with a hat, some feeling of stress because of what was happening in the scene you're thinking about, colours, a nose, a brown coat, etc. After a while all of these things will probably bring back what you are looking for, having found enough associated memories to point the way towards your goal.

Of course, this can be used for more than remembering trivia. It's helped me find things I had forgotten where I'd put them, as well as some other things I'll talk about in another post. It's a bit like exercise, it can be tiring, bur it sure is useful when I need it.


To leave a comment, please fill this form.