Fifty plus years of experience all stored in my memory bank…(apparently!) Although there will inevitably be some memories that stay sharper than others and some seemingly discarded or just lost in the wilderness. How much information can our memory actually store and is it possible to delve into the depths and recover long lost memories?
The scientific view on the amount of information that the brain can store varies but the general consensus is that it is capable of storing an incredible amount of data. Much of this data is embedded and reinforced the more it is used but our memories relate to past events; the only way for them to stay ‘current’ is for us to replay them regularly. By talking about things that have happened in our lives we literally ‘jog’ or exercise an important part of our brain and this is an investment in our memory bank.
Memories Are Made Of This
The bombardment of information coming at us (or those of you with modern devices!) is non-stop. “Ting, ting, ting went my heartstrings” sang Judy Garland (Meet Me In St Louis 1944) but today she would sing “Ting, ting, ting went my smartphone!” This is not exercising the memory; it is documenting an experience without embedding it in your mind. Certainly the experience is recorded in a device which you can use to remind you in the same way that we can use photographs to help prompt our memory. However, your memory loves a good story and in the same way that when we were little we would love to hear a good story told over and over this is what your memory enjoys. So my recommendation today is that you get in touch with an old friend or family member that perhaps you haven’t seen in some time and have a good chat about the good old times. Your memory will thank you for it!