How Communication Can Improve Your Memory

Communicating information to others in your own words is a good way to ensure that you remember it

couple chattingphoto credit: shutterstock

Source: Adapted from 101 Ways to Improve Your Memory, Reader’s Digest

It can happen to any of us: we see something on TV in the evening and don’t remember what it was about the next day. Some people are alarmed by this inability to remember. They are afraid their memory is failing.

Instead of overreacting, we should ask ourselves the following question: did we really enjoy what we were watching and did we find it interesting? Don’t forget that wanting to remember is an essential component of successful memorization. So if you watch TV simply to relax, without taking much interest in it, there is a good chance that you won’t remember much about it. This is equally true of people who complain that they don’t remember what they read the previous day. In fact, when reading becomes just a way of putting yourself to sleep, you don’t pay enough attention to what you are reading to ensure that you remember it.

What you can do

Telling someone about a movie or book soon after you have seen or read it will ensure that you remember it, because you will have to structure the different aspects of the story and select what is most significant in order to recount it. Having to organize your ideas to express them virtually entrenches them into your memory.

Furthermore, knowing that you will be discussing something later causes you to concentrate and pay more attention in the first place.

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