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  gifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)Awareness is really noticing what is going on around yougifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)gifele.gif (3048 bytes)

This part of the memory process is vitally important because there is no chance of remembering something which you have never really noticed in the first place.
It is very easy to look at something time after time and never really take it in.

Take a few minutes to attempt to draw a diagram of the dashboard of your car (if you are a driver) or the controls of your washing machine or video recorder or hi-fi, just to see how much, or little, you have memorised just by looking at it from time to time.

It is usually quite hard to do a good diagram, as these are items you just use, often without looking at them too closely, in the case of the car, and never think that you might be called upon to remember them at any time. It illustrates well how little we notice and keep things in our memory unless we make a point of doing so.

Many things affect our degree of awareness of what is going on around us:

  • Motivation:  If  you do not care whether you notice things, then probably you will notice very little and remember even less of what happens to you.
    So if you want to remember better and realise that you normally tend to go round in a bit of a dream, be determined to take notice of your surroundings.
  • Enthusiasm:  Refuse to be bored by life.  Sort your life out so that if possible you spend more time on the things you like, then it will be more memorable.
  • Keeping Healthy:  Make an attempt to get rid of muzzy heads, headaches and other nagging health problems which take your attention off your surroundings and what is going on. There is more information about health on another page.
  • Stress:   Tension, anxiety and stress, trauma and depression keep your attention centred inwards rather than outwards and it is all too easy to go through life in a cocoon.  Visit the Health page for suggestions which may help.
  • Variety in your life: Try to vary your daily routine from time to time so that novel situations and a variety of activities make your brain forge new connections. You may only be remembering easily what you have done because you are always doing the same things.
  • Preoccupation:  Modern life is often so hectic that it is easy to be concentrating more on a problem in the back of your mind than on what is going on around you.  In such a case it is unlikely that you will remember much of what you are actually doing.
  • Concentration:  The antidote for preoccupation is to practise concentration.

    An exercise to help concentration:  Pick an object (anything will do) and study it hard for a few minutes, trying to remember as many details as you can.  Then shut your eyes and try to recreate the object in your imagination.  If your mind wanders, just bring it back to the job in hand until you have remembered as much as you can.   Open your eyes and see how much you noticed and then repeat the exercise.  After a few tries at the exercise you will find your concentration improving.


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