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Mind Over the Mandela Effect: Anchor Memories

Mind Over the Mandela Effect: Anchor Memories

Go back to how you felt when you first fell down Mandela Effect rabbit hole. Remember how certain you were about the changes you resonated with? Remember how everything in your gut told you that this change is, what is commonly referred to as, an “anchor memory”? These were the changes that you could hang your hat on.

When you’re in grade school you are tested, not to determine your level of intelligence necessarily, but to determine your ability to recall. You are graded on how well you can remember formulas and how to use them, the capitals of states, the names of presidents, historical events, etc. This same grading continues on into college. If you’re an art major you must memorize artist names, historical facts, if you’re a business major, you must know how to define and explain supply and demand, what is target marketing, etc. You study, sometimes, cram the night before, trying to memorize loads of details so that you can recall them. If you were born before the explosion of cell phones and the internet, you had to memorize phone numbers, song lyrics, addresses, all types of things because at that time there was no “ok google”. You drove around with internal navigational ability, and if that area was weak you would purchase a printed map from a nearby gas station.

An excerpt by Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD (Psychology):

Repetition is the most familiar learning tool –everyone has memorized facts or vocabulary words by repeating them, and some have improved basketball free-throw shooting or playing piano scales through practice. Repetition creates long term memory by eliciting or enacting strong chemical interactions at the synapse of your neuron (where neurons connect to other neurons). Repetition creates the strongest learning—and most learning—both implicit (like tying your shoes) and explicit (multiplication tables) relies on repetition. It is also why it is so hard to make behavior change, because the new behavior must be repeated for so long—and the old behavior must be held in check.

Read Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD’s full article “Understanding Learning and Memory: The Neuroscience of Repetition” 

We can say with a certain level of certainty that what we consider “anchor memories” are pretty well ingrained in our minds like nails in a block of wood. No one can force them out. So, it makes perfect sense to feel a little bit defensive when someone tries to tell you that your memory of a song is faulty when you know for certain, it is not. You’ve spent half your life being forced to memorize things and creating strategies on how to improve your memory. There has been a surge in the number of articles popping up across the internet telling you why you can’t trust your memory, audio and visual tests to convince you that you aren’t seeing or hearing what you think you are. Yanny versus Laurel anyone? Why do you think this is happening?

We live in an age where we no longer have to memorize phone numbers, when to walk the dog, addresses or even birthdays. We use our cell phones to set reminders on everything from the super important to the mundane. We rely heavily on technology to tell us how to get to the grocery store that is less than 5 miles away.

So yes, some changes you can agree on. But there are times when you are presented with an effect that you are not strongly connected to. Be careful not to feel pressured or to force your brain into creating it as a change in your reality. The presenter may become frustrated, or angry, or want to debate it with you but you can always opt to leave the conversation. Don’t let your differences in memory become an upsetting situation. That particular change is clearly not an anchor memory. These uncertain ME’s have the danger of becoming real to you by mere power of suggestion. Your brain is so powerful that it can recreate memories -in the same manner that people who don’t see the mandela effects have been known to recall our exact same memories when asked in trivia-style fashion, but then almost immediately they accept the reality of the way it is now, completely overwriting their own memories with lightning speed. 

Don’t Lose Your Edge

You are still capable of retraining (or reprogramming) your brain to recall just as well now as you once could. And, if you never could, now is the perfect time to start. This week, take some time to memorize at least 3-5 important phone numbers. If you are successful by the end of the week share this idea with others and encourage them to do the same exercise. Look for brain training game apps on your devices, play memory cards, watch change blindness videos, etc, and see if you can improve your memory skills over time. In the meantime, play our memory game below!

Play Memory Game

Look for an article coming soon on “Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory”. Have a comment? Leave one below or join the discussion on facebook.

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