Do you believe that you have a good memory? Whether it be for school tests, bragging rights, or just sheer convenience, memory is an essential component of our day-to-day lives that we use often. Therefore, similarly to our physical health, it makes perfect sense that we should train and use it often so we can improve ourselves. Unfortunately, many people think they are born and stuck with a horrible memory, and that there is no way to improve it.
However, in this short post, I’m about to show you one of my most favorite, go-to memory tricks that I use often! It can be learned with such alarming ease, it almost seems unreal.
It is called the Linking Method, or the Chain method. Like the name suggests, you are basically linking two or more pieces of information you want to memorize together, so for example terms, definitions, foreign words and meanings, names, lists etc, and making it easier for yourself
I find it most effective with memorizing foreign words and their meaning, and terms with their definitions, though you may use it however you wish.
STEP 1: VISUALIZATION
Studies have proven that we retain information better through pictures and images than through boring words and signs. Click here for more info.
People who excel at remembering things will all testify that the foundation of having good memory is mastering the art of visualizing things. As basic and obvious as it sounds, you must first visualize the things you are trying to memorize.
For example, let’s try remembering that Helsinki is the capital city of Finland. To visualize the name ‘Helsinki’, I make a mental image of someone sinking into a hellish place. For Finland, I just imagine a fish with fins. Easy right? Now just keep those two mental pictures in your head for a bit as we move on to our next simple step.
STEP 2: LINKING YOUR IMAGES
Now that we have our two images in our head, we can move on to the important but fun part of this technique: linking the two together. Linking is simply just taking the mental pictures that you have for the items you’re trying to memorize and linking/connecting them, to form one, conjoined, bizarre image!
Let’s go back to our example. Now, since we have two things we want to remember that are related to each other: Finland and Helsinki, and we have created images for the both of them, we need to combine them to make one image! Helsinki makes me think of a person sinking into a hellish place, while Finland reminds me of a normal fish with fins.
Combine the two together: And now imagine a fish with fins sinking into a hellish place!
Let’s do another example: you want to remember that the word for “spider” in German is “Spinne”. Easy, imagine a German-speaking spider spinning a web!
How about one last example, but with terms and definitions. Let’s say you’re trying to remember that “hypermetropia” is the scientific term for long-sightedness for a physics test. This type of info may be more challenging, but as long as you’re creative and have some decent imagination, you could come up with a long metro train going at hyper speed.
In short, the linking method of memorizing things is a quick and easy way to remember things by simply connecting two images together to create one memorable picture, and all it really needs is a wild imagination and just a small bit of creativity. Remember, the more bizarre, strange, gruesome, crude, or sensational the image is, the easier it will be to remember!
If you want to learn more about the linking method, including how to use it to memorize lists, I recommend checking out these cool sites and videos!