To a person who forgets the way to reach a place even when he or she may have been there several times before, this lack of a sense of direction would be very frustrating. This is especially so, if his or her best friend is the kind who remembers the way to a place after visiting it only once. Some people can remember directions to a place with ease, while others can't.
What is really required to be done by those who are not blessed with a strong sense of direction is to consciously cultivate a deep interest in places and notice the roads when you travel. Pay attention to the landmarks, a temple or a post office or a restaurant. Watch the way in which the road turns; also watch the trees and other natural objects along the way. All this will create awareness in you and help you relate with the direction in which you are going. You can also begin to study maps, and this may help you to develop an interest in them.Â
Do not traverse the roads in an absent minded fashion for then you will never be able to learn any directions. This is fatal for anyone who is trying to remember directions to a place. Take notice of the lanes and bylanes, the corners and the traffic signals and theÂ objects you seeÂ along the way. Try to make an imprint on your mind of the things you passed on the way. When you return home, use a pen and try to draw a map of your route. You can state the general directions, indicate the street names, and mark the particular features of objects along the way. Then as you travel along, compare the places with your map, and you will find that you will take an entirely new interest in the trip. Your increased engagement in your surroundings will not only make you more aware but also give you a better sense of directions and places.
2. Remembering DirectionsÂ
Remembering the directions to a place that you need to be at is often mind boggling largely because of the number of lefts and rights and the blocks that you have to remember while travelling on the road. It is confusing to try and remember this kind of unfamiliar and repetitious data.Â
The way out of this is to ask for a landmark. This may be a prominent building at a crossing, or a corner tailor shop. Landmarks such as these provide the guides to help you find a place with ease. They also help you remember directions better.
To remember all the "lefts" and "rights" is not an easy task. Use images to represent "left" and "right". For example, you can use cats for left and cows for right. So if your friend tells you to "turn left after the tailor's shop," you can imagine large cats sitting and purring all over theÂ clothes in the tailor's shop.Â If you exaggerate the look of the cats as showing them wearing heavy gold jewellery and sunglasses, you will not only laugh but remember the directions too.
3. Recalling the Activities of the Day
It is helpful to have a memory that enables you to recall what your boss announced the day before regarding the company's new project. Or to be able to remember the dinner you had five days ago.Â
Don't get anxious, however, if things like these escape your memory. Sometimes, you may become so engrossed in your daily responsibilities that you tend to forget events or happenings you haven't paid much attention to. This is experienced by many of us today, since we have too much on our minds to deal with.
If at the end of each day, you spend a little time and go over the occurrences of the day, you will find that this act will help you register the events in such a way that you will be able to retrieve the information later quite easily. You should do this work in the evening, when you feel relaxed. Do not do it after you retire, for at that time you need to rest. Because you reviewed the work at the end of the day, your `subconscious' mind will be well at work at the time and will record the events for you, so that you can then recall with ease.
An exercise you can do is to sit quietly every day before you sleep in the night and try and recall the events of the day. This may be difficult for you to do in the beginning, but with time you will find that you are able to remember more and more the happenings of the day precisely and with clarity. This is because you are learning to sharpen your ability to recall things. You can even relate the events of the day to some close friends or family members and this will also go a long way in helping you increase your memory prowess. When you tell the events to someone else, you are reinforcing the information in your brain.Â
One can sometimes find oneself being likened to a nutty Professor who is constantly forgetful , placing his glasses someplace and his car keys someplace else and then spending a long time trying to locate them.Â It helps to know that there are many people who forget, many of them brilliant, and it is not a crime to be forgetful. Some strategies, if followed, will go a long way in helping you overcome this. These are listed below.
Be patient with yourself: Acceptance is half the battle won. Accept the fact that you tend to be forgetful. In this way you don't get depressed over the fact but find ways and means to deal with it.
Improve your memory directly: There are methods to increase your memory abilities through playing games that increase your concentration. Proper diet, meals eaten at regular intervals, enough sleep to recharge your batteries, the use of learning methods and other related ways help you to work at directly improving your memory.
Reminder Aids: There are many ways in which you can remind yourself of task that you need to do. you can set the alarm on a watch, or on the mobile or use an electronic organizer. This is one of the ways to ensure that you remember to do the things, you need or want to do, on time. you an also make good use of the computer for this. Microsoft Outlook has a `reminders' feature that can be made good use of.Â
Have an assigned space for everything: Assigning a particular space for every item, be it books, clothes, jewellery, spectacles or car keys, is a good habit. Then you learn to look for an item only in a particular place. You will find your things easily and won't have to resort to a guessing game all the time. This not only makes your life neater and more organized, it also helps in you better your recalling abilities.
Open a bank safe deposit box: Important documents and precious jewellery can be placed here, and you will have no fear of losing them through your forgetfulness.Â
What is of utmost importance is to maintain a healthy perspective about forgetfulness. You should not allow it to get you down, but try to maintain a sense of humour about it.
The quick memory tips:
In conclusion, some quick memory tips to keep on your fingertips are as follows:
Use all your senses and become more observant
Recite and repeat the material loudly if you can
Have confidence in your memory and your abilities to remember
Pay close attention to everything that you want to remember.
We will come to the importance of `paying close attention' in another chapter.