“I can’t remember the last time I forgot something.…”
That’s a common humorous and paradoxical statement you might have come across. But on a serious note, at times, we all feel that our memory is deteriorating. Given that the factors contributing to poor memory are many, (everyday stress, depression and anxiety, for example), you can ‘employ’ specific techniques to sharpen your memory.
For example, self-hypnosis can help you to let go of the mental blocks that might be preventing you from recalling things precisely, thus helping you to improve memory.
But first things first. Before you learn about how hypnosis works for better memory, you should know how our memory actually works.
- Once a memory is created, it is ‘stored somewhere’ (experts from different fields contradict on another regarding this ‘storage’ and ‘somewhere’).
- They assume that there are three ways to store memories: first in the sensory stage; next in short-term memory; and eventually, for some memories, in long-term memory.
- Short-term memory (STM) can last for no more than 30 seconds, unless you rehearse the newly acquired information within that timeframe.
- Example of STM includes recalling a phone number.
- And, long term memory works in two phases:
- You ‘store’ the information/ experience somewhere in your mind
- You recall the memory as and when needed
- When the access or retrieval to that ‘stored memory’ is hampered or blocked, it results in what we call poor memory!
It has been established in many cases, accessing that ‘blocked memory’ has been possible and successful through hypnosis!
Moreover, it can also help you focus on both phases of the long term memory system- how the information is stored and how to recall it.
Often misunderstood conceptually, both hypnosis and self hypnosis are actually the same thing…hypnotizing the ‘self’; the difference lies in the techniques/procedure…either someone with the required expertise is helping you to reach that trance like state OR you are employing and practicing techniques to achieve it!
Now for the…
Steps for self hypnosis steps to improve memory:
Step#1: Relax Yourself
- Sit down/ recline comfortably
- Close your eyes and breathe in deeply to relax
- Take all your concentration to your toes, hold it there for some time and then slowly work your way upwards through your legs, hips, abdomen, chest, neck… to your head
- While you do what is mentioned above, imagine that each of the muscle groups are getting relaxed (you can silently say to yourself “my toes are relaxed now, so are my calf muscles, my arms are relaxed now…” and so on for each part of your body as you move upwards)
- Start counting backwards from 10 to 0 slowly. As you count, visualize yourself going down a flight of stairs.
- As you reach “zero”, you are likely to find yourself in a light trance.
Step#2: Imagine yourself about to enter a large library
- You are standing outside a library.
- Observe the details…the surroundings, the architecture of the library and slowly get inside and look around.
- The library you visualize is the library of your mind.
- Everything you have known or experienced will be found there.
Step# 3: ‘Going through the books in the library’(This exercise will help to organize your mind)
- If you have a particular topic of interest, ‘find out’ a book that contains all your knowledge on the particular subject.
- Recall all the information you have in your mind.
- After you have gone through the book, place it back where you have found it.
Step#4: Recall old memories
- Next, start recalling old memories
- This will make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
- You will feel happier.
Step#5: Command YourselfWhile you are still in the trance-like state, repeat specific commands to yourself. For example “I have a photographic memory- I can remember everything I wish to…” Let yourself be taken over by positivity.
Step#6: Completing Your Self-Hypnosis session
To come out of the trance-like state:
- Slowly count from 1 to 5
- Make sure that your conscious thoughts are refreshing and positive.
Watch this video to get some extra help for practicing self hypnosis to improve memory.
Moving on to:
What else can you do to improve memory?
- Stay positive. Remember, if you believe that you have a poor memory, your mind will do anything and everything to prove you right.
- Consider learning basic attention skills. Sometimes, poor attention can deteriorate your memory.
- Play memory games; indulge in trivia quizzes or jigsaw puzzles “blindly” (which means you should not refer back to the image on the box). “Exercising” your mind is a key to a sharper memory.
- Control anxiety and manage depression as they can lead to poor concentration- therefore causing poor memory.
For additional help, you can turn to Improve Concentration & Memory