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Weekly Health/Inner development post: Number 9: Memory Palace

Updated: Apr 1, 2021


Memory palace is a technique to easily store and remember a lot of information. By linking the things you want to remember to a place with objects you are already familiar with, the mind can make the connections to what you want to remember more easily. Most people are familiar with the experience that certain memories can be triggered by sound, smell, images or taste. For example: you smell a certain type of food, and it reminds you of the time when you were young and your mother was making that food. The more connections are made between memories and different senses, the more pathways the brain has to access these memories. Memory palace uses images from a familiar place in sequence (a route), to connect to the information you want to store. Step 1: Imagine a room you are very familiar with, for example a living room. Step 2: Remember 10, or 20, or 30 objects in that room, in sequence, and the position they are in. For example, first remember the plant at the entrance of the living-room, than the couch, than the curtains, than a certain book, than a painting etc. So in your mind, move from one object to the next, and remember the location where these objects are in your living room in a fixed sequence. Very important to always have the same sequence when you move from one object to the next. Step 3: Let us say you want to remember 20 different capitals of cities for your geography exam. Step 4: Link each capital to a certain object in the room, in the same sequence you remember the objects in your living-room. So the plant at the entrance becomes the capital Paris, the couch becomes the capital Berlin, etc. Exaggerating the thing you want to remember can make it easier to remember, so for example make the plant into a giant Eiffel Tower (Paris), make the couch a giant bratwurst (Berlin). Step 5: Go through the whole sequence a couple of times to make sure each object is now replaced by a capital (or something obviously linked to that capital). Step 6: You can access your memory-palace any time your want, and go through the sequence (route) of objects in the room, which is now a sequence (route) of capitals. Memory palace can be used with anything you want to remember: number, sounds, images, cards, any sensation, etc. You can use any place you are familiar with and use it as a memory palace: a room, a street, a city. Important is to have a route (fixed sequence of objects) in your memory palace to link to any memories you want to store. If a lot of information has to be memorized by different subjects, one can create different rooms, or streets, or routes, with different sequences of objects. So one can go from room to room (from subject to subject), while each room has its sequence of objects you can link to things you want to remember.

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