Long Term Memory and what it is?
Let’s play a game
Where were you on September 11,2001? Can you tell me? What about October 25, 2001? Most likely you have no idea unless it was a birthday or anniversary. How about a car accident, if so could you tell me the time of day, who was driving, how it occurred, where it occurred? I bet even if it was 5 to 10 years ago you could tell me all the details of that car accident. But could you tell me every time you’ve driven in a car since then? Of course not! Why is it that you remember some things in your long term memory but you don’t remember other things? The reason for remembering certain things and not others is because there was action and motion involved in those things. An action and emotion will cement something into your long term memory.
What is Long term memory?
Long term memory is anything that has been in your memory for longer than 30 seconds. Short term memory is limited, about 4 to 7 pieces of information held in your short term or working memory. If something can be remembered long enough it will make its way to your long term memory. Long term memory capacity is almost unlimited. Research suggests that memories are not stored in your long term memory in a static state but instead every time that they are recalled they are transformed or changed a little bit and this leads sometimes to people having false memories.
There are 3 types of memory:
- Procedural long term memory – This is where you remember or learn how to do something. For example, riding a bicycle.
- Semantic long term memory – This is responsible for storing information that you know about the world or general knowledge. Such as London is the capital of England
- Episodic long term memory – This is the memory that is responsible for remembering events in your life. This is where your memory of September 11th is stored, a car accident or even your first day of school.
How can you improve your long term memory?
I’m going to give you 4 steps to improving your long term memory.
- Step 1: The first step is actually my most favorite memory training technique. If you’ve watched my videos you know that I talk about the Mind Palace. The first step is for you to build your very own mind palace. Essentially what you do is to memorize a map of your home. In reality you already have your home memorized so all you have to do is number pieces of your furniture.
- Step 2: Action, your brain remembers things that have action tied to them. That’s how you are able to remember a car accident from 5 years ago. So create images in your mind with tons of action and store that action on your pieces of furniture.
- Step 3: Next is emotion. Why is it that you remember the person in high school that you had a crush on but you can’t recall the person you sat next to every day in English class? Emotion! Emotion ties things into your memory. That’s also why you remember 9/11, it is because of all the emotion and fear wrapped up in that day. The emotion of that tragic event cemented it into your memory.
- Step 4: Simply review, spaced repetition. What I like to do is remember something today using my mind palace. Maybe there is 25 things that I might want to recall so I will turn them into a picture with action and emotion. Then I will review them today, tomorrow, in a week and in a month.
So in conclusion my favorite way to improve the memory is the Mind Palace, but it has to be done in the right way. Just one mistake here or there will dramatically impact your results. To help you master these steps I’ve put together some free training, just click on the link. https://memorise.org/memory-training/sherlock-mind-palace
For information on how to improve your long term memory check out the link below: