Mnemotechniques as relaxation technique?

I am a knowledge worker, so at the end of my working day, I feel mentally exhausted. Often times I don’t have much mental energy left, to use mnemo techniques, which is a problem, because it interferes heavily with my learning efforts.

In the last couple of months I just couldn’t get myself to learn anything new. I was too tired to put the information in my memory palaces, because it takes too much mental effort.

So now I was wondering if there could be a way to use mnemo techniques as some kind of relaxation technique. That way, I could get some relaxation after a long working day and at the same time encode new information or review old palaces.

Has anyone experience with this? And if yes, how have you done it?


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I have done this before, quite differently though.

I used to use this to wake myself up by visualising a day dream of sorts, it was very effective almost as if I was sleeping it made me good to go for an hour or so after 5-10 minutes. Depending on how I do this though I may also fall asleep and get more tired rather than more awake. The difference here is in using visualisation in general scenarios that calm you down or excite you to some extent, particularly the detail you are using.

As for reviewing old palaces and encoding new information though, there wasn’t really too much of an easy way, I felt relaxed doing this by doing it more slowly than I usually do, simply at a calm rate that isn’t rushed. The positive note to doing it slowly also is that you can simply sit in your chair and close your eyes and review or encode a point, which is definitely relaxing.

Maybe this will help:

Mnemonic Tip: Drift to Sleep in a Palace

I think there is not enough value placed on low concentration intake. Absorbing stuff just because it’s in your environment and you see it and hear it all the time. You probably know quite a lot about your office building even things you’ve never really taken an interest in. Yet over time your brain has formed memories.

Putting stuff up on walls in colors in large size or having stuff lying around on the desk and looking at it every now and then with no great effort to focus or foreign language movies playing in the background.

It’s slow. It’s not like direct deliberate memorization. But it’s very little effort and works even better when you’re tired and your mind is less focussed.

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Having read Lynne Kelly’s books, she seems to get a lot of enjoyment and probably relaxation in touring her memory journeys, which I believe often requires going for a walk in the English countryside.

I think the key is to create memory journeys/palaces that are enjoyable and relaxing to travel through and to ‘meditate’ upon. If the journey/palace is somewhere that you like to go (real or virtual), then it should be enjoyable, and as a result, relaxing.

I believe that many mnemonists create such journeys consciously since one spends a fair amount of time creating and reviewing the journey/palace they are willfully constructed to be positive, uplifting, relaxing places.

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I personally find that using methods like the mind Palace is really mentally exhausting and whenever I get to the fourth to sixth hour of mind palacing I get fatigue headaches and my vision can go kind of blurry and my thoughts just really slow down or I stop thinking about things. I really don’t feel like I have ever been able to mind Palace effectively when I was mentally fatigued. The only advice I can give is to start meditating. I find a meditation session can really effectively get rid of a lot of the fatigue.

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Maybe review, but not encode until you can relax or have relaxed. A few years ago after a stressful day, I found a moment to sit back somewhere quietly and close my eyes and I found that I was able to visualize a large collection of poster-sized pictures. I mentally reached out to the book-like display and turned over the picture of that afternoon, flipping forwards and back through the images allowed me to select images from memorable events. Here, in this mental picture album, bad and good and all the in-between memorable events were equally presented and in a mental format available for me to choose which thought to think about. I selected something better than that stressful day and I savored it until I was rested.

If you like, you can add a mental photographic album and mood music to your mental coffee-break space. After your mental rest then you can mentally go back to mental work.

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