How to Have a Photographic Memory in 3 Steps

Posted on - in Productivity Hacks

Wouldn’t it be great to recall all the important details of your life? To look at a map and memorize the route to your destination without having to use a GPS, or to memorize a speech without trying? Most people would love to have a photographic memory.

What is a Photographic Memory?

A photographic memory means you hold the ability to notice and recall minute details that form a clear event, object, place or person in someone’s mind.

Only a small percentage of children are born with this ability and many adults lack it altogether. Some critics challenge the idea of the possibility to have a photographic memory.

But, while that remains up for debate, there’s no question you can do things to improve your memory and reinvent the way you memorize information.

So, are you ready to reinvent yourself and your mind in a few steps?

1. Prime Your Mind for a Photographic Memory

You can develop habits to strengthen your memory over time, but keeping these habits is the key. Sleep, diet, exercise and mental challenges all contribute to your physical and mental health when it comes to establishing a good foundation for memories.

Sleep

When you lay your head to rest at the end of the day, the brain continues to work, storing all the information your brain compiled during the waking hours. The important things you saw, heard and touched categorize and file away.

But, without enough sleep memories can’t store and begin to fade, leaving you forgetful.

Adequate rest also improves your focus and attention span.

Diet

A diet full of fruits, vegetables and healthy protein – and void of sugar, excessive fats and oils – maintains your energy levels and keeps your mind sharp.

Exercise

You can boost your brain power with exercises like walking, dancing and taking the stairs. Movement keeps the body and the mind engaged. It also keeps your blood pumping and brain waves going.

Mental Challenges

Similar to how exercise elevates your heart rate, you shouldn’t overlook elevating your mind. By challenging yourself to think deeper, commit more things to memory and notice what’s around you, your mind becomes stronger.

A stronger mind holds more information – enough to give you a photographic memory.

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2. Choose Your Memory Method

Create Photographs in Your Mind

When you want to remember something, create a mental picture in your mind. For the image, choose something easy to recall and details that stand out.

Things like a woman’s green dress or a gust of wind blowing your hair in your face become details that help trigger a full memory.

Relate New to Old

If something new brings to mind something old, use that association to commit the new information to memory. Childhood images, feelings and events are the most familiar and easily recalled.

For example, the instructions your boss gave you to write a report recall similar memories from the papers you had to write in school. To remember the steps to putting together your report, you relate it to having to put together the paper.

Often these associations are simpler and provide a different perspective while also establishing the new memory.

Become a Storyteller

Sometimes, though, relating the information you want to remember to old images isn’t enough, especially if you need to memorize in a specific order. To develop an accurate memory and order the new information, create a story.

The story can be relational – allegorical – or exactly what happened, but detailed creatively. Whichever avenue you take, stories hold in your memories more than random facts.

3. Make It Last

Repetition and practice is key to developing a photographic memory. Once you change up the way you think about memorizing events, items and instructions, you employ those same methods until they become second nature.

Eventually, you’ll develop detailed memories that you’ll flip through like a photo album.

Your Mind as a Camera

While you can’t take photographs with your mind, developing habits and characteristics that make it seem like you have a photographic memory is beneficial in every aspect of life.

What pictures will you develop in your life with these steps?

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Also published on Medium.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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