rep systems to help memory


Or… Using rep systems and more to enhance your memory.

The other day my son was telling me about how, in music class, he’d learned to sign with his hands along with the music to the “Do-re-mi” (the song from The Sound of Music). As he was explaining it to me, he couldn’t remember the hand sign for “re.”

But when he sang the song from the beginning with the signs, he remembered. He remembered it in relation to other movements and in relation to the song-but not by itself.

That brought to mind a question I often get asked; “How do I improve memory with NLP and/or hypnosis?” Well, there are many answers to that question–here are some of my favorites…

Store Memories in All Rep Systems

When you meet someone, if you try to remember their name by repeating it to yourself, you’re storing it in your auditory rep system. It’s a good idea to store it with something visual and kinesthetic as well. Folks with outstanding memories tend to store things in all rep systems. In other words, see, hear and feel the memory you’re storing.

I learned to remember names this way by listening to myself repeat the name internally while picturing their name on a name tag plastered on their forehead (or near a unique feature of theirs), while writing their name in the air with an imaginary pen.


Memory expert Harry Lorraine trains people to make their visualizations intense to make them more memorable. Rich, vibrant colors and movement can help. Coding a memory with intensity is one way to send a message to your unconscious mind that the memory is important.

You can also find out what particular submodalities help you remember best by comparing the submodalities of something you remember well and easily and comparing them with the submodalities of something you don’t remember well. Code what you want to remember in the same way as those experiences you remember well.

Emotional State

If you’re having trouble remembering something, get back in the emotional state you had when you learned it. Memories are grouped together by emotion so they’re easier to recall when you feel that same emotion.

I saw this demonstrated in an NLP training. A man who had an excellent memory was asked to talk about something he was very excited about. The trainer fired off an anchor for a different emotional state and the subject could hardly remember anything! When he got back into an excited state, the level of detail of his recall was an order of magnitude better.

You can use this idea when you want to remember something. Get in a good emotional state when you memorize. When you want to remember, get back into that same state.


About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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