Imagination Exercises

Mnemonics are memorization techniques that we often do quite naturally without even realizing it, such as linking the next turn to a landmark. For example, a two-year-old sees a heater and tells me it’s “hot” (then he tries to blow on it), or he might point to the fridge, where his drinks are kept and they are cold. The heater is the “landmark” linked to hot, while the fridge is linked to food and cold. In our mind, we also link information to “landmarks,” so that even when the item is not physically present but mentally identified, the linked information can also be revealed. We all did that as babies, discovering and learning about our environment - the period of our greatest learning curve. The children’s greatest learning came through the senses such as sight, smell, touch, taste, sound and emotion. Each sense by itself can trigger off a multitude of memories. Using a combination of the different areas of the brain increases the chances of being able to remember the information. Most people have this natural ability to link memories into these various areas of the brain. Over time, however, many have unknowingly suppressed this ability, so that what was quite easy when as children now seems awkward and difficult. Instead, they enter into what is frequently a slower and less reliable method of learning and retaining information. However, as with any physical or mental task, practice redevelops the brain “muscles,” so that processing information through the senses becomes easy and natural once again.
Some exercises can be practiced as you lie in bed, for instance, waiting to go to sleep, or when you have just woken up. As you lie there, think of such things as the sound of an approaching train and then watch it approach, feeling the ground shake beneath you as it rumbles on by. Or imagine the aroma of fresh bread baking; see it, touch it, savor its taste. The goal of this exercise is to revitalize all these areas which form images and memories.
The advantages gained from these exercises can be tremendous in opening the door to rapid memorization abilities.



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