Five effective ways to remember things

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How often do we find ourselves saying, “Oh! I forgot,” “I have a bad memory,” or “I just can’t remember things?” Students often say this during exam time when they are unable to recollect their lessons. But do you know that these statements do more harm to you than good? ((break)) In fact, experts say, ‘a good memory can be cultivated by anyone who goes about it scientifically.’ Below are five such ways which will help you remember things effectively:

1. Relax, don’t try too hard

Studies have shown over-trying leads to mental tension, which in turn slows down the process of learning. So relax. Take it easy.

2. Believe in your memory

As someone once remarked, “Every time a person remarks that he has a memory like a sieve, he is knocking one more hole through its bottom.” The mantra is to have confidence in your memory. Never belittle yourself, neither in front of others nor when you are alone. Encourage and appreciate yourself, no matter what.

3. Avoid artificial aids to memory

These may be described as associating random colours, numbers etc., to the things that we want to remember. This puts the mind to unnecessary labour in handling different kinds of material which have no natural relation to each other. Instead, try to recognise familiar patterns.

4. Study before you go to sleep

We have often been told that the best time to memorise is early in the morning when mind is fresh. But studies have shown that the best time to memorise anything is just before you go to sleep. The benefit, however, is lost if there is a delay (as little as two hours) between the time of study and bedtime.

5. Tackle things as a whole

If we are trying to learn a poem, for example, our approach is usually to learn a stanza or two at a time. This, however, is not the right way to go about it. Read it right through from the start to finish. Do it as many times as is necessary. This will help you learn it in a connected form and with greater efficiency. Instead of learning it the night before your exams, try doing it twice or thrice a day for a week.

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