Short-term memory is a structure of the mind that sharpens as you employ strategies to send the information over to the long-term memory. The short-term memory captures pictures, objects, smells, sounds, words, taste, etc.
The memory stores bits and pieces of the information retrieved in a compartment of the brain. To pull up an entire picture of something someone said as a whole you would need to find associating objects that take you back to the moment. You will also need to conform to the save rules to pull up pictures that make an entire scene. For instance, if you are trying to recall an incident that took place in your history, a single name could open the mind to allowing you to visualize your self in the moment. Some of the tactics employed to enhance short-term memory includes, imagery, self-talk, role-playing, reciting, reviewing, previewing, repeating, backtracking, brainstorming, associations, and so forth. Using the strategies can take you anywhere you want to go, which after you construct the memory it will arrive at the long-term section, where you can recall the memory anytime you wish.
Sounds easy, but the fact is many people have difficulty remember times in their life, and some of those times are special. One of the reasons people have difficult remembering events, is that many people fail to listen carefully, at the moment the occurrence took place, or else their eyes shot in another direction, or else the mind was consumed with other information at the time they visualized or heard the information. In other words, the mind was preoccupied; therefore, the short-term memory captured what it wanted to gain, while ignoring the remaining information.
Does that mean you didn’t get the information? No. It means that the short-term memory is the only section of the mind that caught the action, picture etc, and it will take skills and effort to pull up the information so that you can send it to long-term memory and recapture the moment. The long-term memory has the associated parts of the information; therefore, you have to work the two to come up with what you are seeking to gain. How do you do it?
While there are many ways to pull up information from the mind, one of the best possible answers that helped me is role-playing and self-talk. I am a survivor of amnesia caused from a rare disorder and it took years before I had parts of my history as a whole. In other words, I only had 3 years of information out of 38 years of my life.
Now, I can recall phone numbers from years on back that I haven’t used in a long time. How did I do it? Again, role-playing and self-talk, along with reciting, repeating, and continuing the process helped me out tremendously.
Try repeating and reciting to recall a memory: for instance, per se you want to remember the name of a person you see a few times a long time ago, since you heard he was back in town. Try using the imagery tactic to pull up his face in your mind. Instead of pondering on the person in general, let your mind relax as you vision this person walking along side you. Visualize yourself talking with this person as you walk, acting as if you are the best of friends. Repeat and recite areas of the moment you can remember as you encountered this person. Try to associate any relevance in the visual as you move along.
NOTE: Severely traumatized persons should use imagery only in the company of a qualified therapist. This is dangerous for particular disordered minds.