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There's an art to happy memories - you can make more by experiencing more "first"s

https://ideas.ted.com/theres-an-art-to-happy-memories-you-can-make-more-by-experiencing-more-firsts/

ideas.ted.com

There's an art to happy memories - you can make more by experiencing more "first"s
Ask any older person to recall some of their memories, and there's a good chance they will tell you stories from when they were between the ages of 15 and 30. This is known as the reminiscence effect, or reminiscence bump. Memory research is sometimes conducted by using cue words.

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Cue Words That Tease Memory

Certain 'cue' words have the ability to make us remember the first time we did something, which is more often than not in our growing years, or as a young adult.

Example: the word 'Driving Licence' can stir up memories of our young age, but the word 'dog' or 'lamp' may not.

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The Reminiscence Effect

The Reminiscence Effect or the Reminiscence Bump is something found in every middle-aged or old person: a person's memories of the formative years (15 years to the late 20s) are more easily recalled and fondly remembered.

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First Time For Everything

The 'First-Time' Theory states that our first job, first kiss, and other things that happened to us for the first time, have an extraordinary effect on our memory, leading to greater and more elaborate cognitive processing.

Example: The first year of college, with its many firsts that a person goes through is more easily remembered than the last years.

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Life Speeds Up

As we grow older, life speeds up and it seems the same every day.

Our lack of 'firsts' doesn't let us register anything memorable in this age.

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Creating Moments Of Elevation

Certain experiences make us feel joyful, engaged, amazed and motivated.

  1. Concerts, museums and great outings engage all our senses, making the moments stand out intensely.
  2. Breaking the routine, or the ‘script’ of life provides us with a pleasant surprise, resulting in little moments of big memories.
  3. Competing in something, like a game or a bet, raises the stakes and creates in us a rush of endorphins, making the event more entertaining and memorable.

Factors Of Motivation at Work

The number one reason for employees to leave their jobs is the lack of recognition, praise and appreciation.

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The feeling of a long life

Research suggests new experiences could create more time codes in the human brain as it processes memory formation.

This could mean that people who can afford to enjoy more vacations and hobbies and have more stimulating jobs, will recall having lived for a longer time.

Hunting for time codes

  • In the 1950s, a standard treatment for epilepsy focused on removing parts of patient's brains, which also left them unable to form new long-term memories. It suggested that memory formation and time perception are tied to the medial temporal lobe.
  • Another study found that the brain doesn't waste time memorizing moments that are dull or non-essential, but memories are created when someone engages in actions that are free, engaging, or varied.
  • Time feels forever when it is spent in a boring environment, but in retrospect, it will not be remembered in detail. However, fascinating events that flew by will be full of memories and feel longer in retrospect.

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)