Memory is a large component of good mental health. Without it, we’d forget phone numbers, people’s names, or freeze up on a test. Of course, many of us do this anyway – I know I do quite frequently. So how can someone improve their mental health through memory? Here are some great ideas and exercises to get you started:

Mental Health: Repetition

The easiest and probably most well known way of memorizing someone’s name is to repeat it several times during a conversation. For instance, when meeting or leaving someone, use their name casually. By saying someone’s name out loud several times, while having that person right in front of you, your brain will connect the name with the person, and cement the information.

Mental Health: Visualization

Creating images in your head that use the item that you are trying to remember is another mental health technique. Take someone’s name that you don’t want to forget, and imagine it being written in neon lights across that person’s forehead. The more outrageous the idea, the better!

Mental Health: Associations

Make a mental association to remember someone’s name. For instance, if your friend Lou has long hair, you could say her name over and over again in your head as “Lou with the long hair”. I find that picturing people doing something that they’ve discussed they enjoy helps, too. So, Bob the violinist, Sarah the gardener, or chef Alex are all good ways to try and remember someone.

Mental Health: Pictures

When attending large functions with a great number of people, take pictures, and make a note of everyone’s name. Then, once the pictures are developed, you can refer back to the evidence as required for your own personal mental health.

Mental Health: Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are a mental health game that allows the user to remember names, speeches, test information, or other items that need to be remembered. The most common of the mnemonic devices are acronyms. Acronyms are words that are created by using the first letter of a series of words. For instance, MADD equals Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and USA equals the United States of America. Both are acronyms. Make up your own to use to help with mental health memory.

Mental Health: Acrostics

Acrostics are quite similar to acronyms in the mental health memory game, but instead they use the first letters in a sentence, such as “Every good boy does fine”, which is used to remember the letters in the treble clef in music. People with a bad memory can create their own acrostics to remember items they would normally forget.

All of these methods can be used regardless of the situation – at work, home, business or school. The mental health skill of being able to recall places, things, people or events is a strong precursor to personal strength and intelligence.