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

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

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/

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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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Unplanned Happy Memories
Unplanned Happy Memories

We normally leave our ‘special moments’ to chance. Our cherished memories are usually unplanned, apart from the big occasions like our graduation or the day of our wedding.

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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.

In research spanning decades, employees were asked about their motivation factors at work and had only one common factor across 46 years, which was the appreciation they got from the employer for their hard work.

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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)

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Different kinds of memory
Different kinds of memory

We hold on to different kinds of memories.

  • Short-term memories last seconds to hours and long-term memories last for years.
  • We also have ...
Where your brain keeps memories

By studying people with amnesia, it seems that short-term and long-term memories don't form in precisely the same way, nor do declarative and procedural memories.

  • Emotional responses such as fear occur in a brain region called the amygdala.
  • Memories of learned skills are associated with the region called the striatum.
  • The hippocampus is essential for forming, retaining, and recalling declarative memories.
  • The temporal lobes play a critical role in forming and recalling memories.
How we experience memories

Memories are held within groups of neurons called cell assemblies. They fire as a group in response to a specific stimulus, such as recognising your friend's face.

The more neurons fire together, the more the interconnection of the cells strengthen. We experience the nerves' collective activity as a memory.

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