A Quick-Fix Memory Technique Called The Body System
I am going to offer you a quick-fix memory system for those occasions when you want to instantly memorize something. The Body System is a very simple but effective way of storing a few items such as a shopping list. It works by associating parts of the body with key imaginative mental pictures of whatever it is you want to remember. The more vivid or exaggerated the picture the better, because that will help to fix it in your memory. There are no hard and fast rules with this system, but I would suggest you limit it to store no more than 10 items. You do not need to use the same 10 body parts labelled on the diagram opposite. And you can work through a list from your head down to your feet, or vice versa.
Let’s say you need to remember the following 10-item shopping list: blue paint, dog biscuits, newspaper, flashlight, prescription, chicken, toothpaste, bananas, shampoo and alarm-clock batteries.
I picture putting my foot into an open pot of blue paint. I imagine a dog jumping up at my knee. A rolled-up newspaper is sticking out of my pocket (thigh). A beam of light is shining from my belly button. A prescription is stuck to my chest. A chicken is perched on my shoulder. I have toothpaste smeared around my mouth. My nose is shaped like a banana. My hair is covered in shampoo lather. In my hand I am holding a loudly ringing alarm clock.
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With a little imagination I can quickly commit to memory a list of items. The following exercise lets you try out this system for yourself, by asking you to remember a list of 10 shopping items.
Exercise: Using the Body System
Memorize The Following Shopping List.
CARTON OF MILK
BUNCH OF GRAPES
FILM FOR CAMERA
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