By David Joel Miller.
How to improve mental efficiency and rev up the memory.
Improve your mental efficiency and improve your memory by practicing skills of observation. Becoming more observant is a skill you can learn.
Before you can remember someone you first need to get a good look at them. You need to be really observant.
There is an exercise that can help you with your ability to observe and remember people. It is an old exercise, from back in the pre-computer age, but still, one worth doing.
Think of a person you know socially but not necessarily well. Try to visualize this person. Get out a piece of paper you can save and write the answers to the following questions down.
Briefly, who is this person and how do you know them?
Male or female?
How old do you estimate they are? What would you guess their weight to be? How tall are they?
What is their hairstyle? Identifying hairstyle may be a challenge for some men. As we saw in a previous post about the expert effect if you don’t know what to call a particular hair style you may have trouble remembering it.
If they are a male do they have a beard? A mustache? How long are their sideburns?
How are their nails done?
What do they usually wear?
What did they wear the last time you saw them?
What are some of their common expressions? If you received a note from them that was unsigned could you pick it out from the handwriting or from expressions they use?
What is their predominant mood?
Repeat this exercise for at least three people including at least one man and one woman.
Next time you see this person check back and see how much you got correct. What did you have wrong?
Repeatedly practicing this exercise will improve your powers of observation. It will sensitize you to individual variations and make you more aware of the people you meet.
How well did you do at remembering other people? Can you see a value of practicing to improve your mental efficiency and memory?
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books
- Sleep and Mental Illness Connection (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Nervous constitution or Anxiety disorder? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Forgetting things may not be a memory problem (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Learning to feel (counselorssoapbox.com)