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Let Your Imagination Boost Your Memory

Last updated 4 years ago

Have your children forgotten to bring their coats home from school more than once too often? How about you? Have you made extra trips to the grocery store because you forgot milk? It is possible to overcome these frustrating lapses in memory.
 
Using an ancient visualization technique called the "Method of Loci" can help boost your memory. The idea is to create images and link the objects you want to remember with them. It worked for the Ancient Romans and it can work for us too.
 
For example, if your child keeps leaving his or her coat at school, work together to make up a creative story that he or she can link to the coat. Try this one: Imagine that the coat is a magic garment. The only way to make it work is to activate the turbo engines by zipping it up and pulling on the hood to fly away. The classroom door is the launchpad. If your child's imagination is engaged by this story, it will be easier to remember not to pass the launchpad without the coat.
 
The more unusual and creative your mental images are the easier they will be to remember. Linking items on your grocery list to locations in your house is a popular way to use the Loci Method.
 
Visualize your front door as a huge head of lettuce, picture the TV as a box of crackers, and mentally turn the refrigerator into a massive carton of milk. Keep an eye on the large, shiny apple taking a bath in your sink! At the store, take a mental tour through your home. With practice, you'll be able to "see" the items you want to remember easily.
 
Try expanding your skill with this method by locating items outside your home--in your office, a friend's home, or any place you know very well.
 
The Literacy and Language Center would love to hear your success stories using visualization as a memory tool! Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know how it's working for you.

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