Using Your Hand as a Memory Palace

Before, you read any further, you are going to need to know how to use a memory palace. So if you do not know how to use the memory palace technique, you can check it out on my post here.

Alright, so this post will show you how to use your very own hand as a memory palace! This can be useful for memorizing shorter essential things such as phone numbers, credit card numbers, personal mantras, and any other things you can think of. This post has two purposes. First, I would like to actually show you how to use your hand as a memory palace. Secondly, I would like to inspire you to think of creative ways that you can make memory palaces on your own. Essentially, I want to get you thinking out of the box for creating your own memory palaces.

Using Your Hand

As you need to do with every memory palace, you need to find the locations where you will place your images. Now, if you are an average human being you will have five fingers and one palm. These are great locations. However, there is a slight difficulty here. All the locations look the same! Yes, your index finger is certainly not the same as your thumb. Nor is your middle finger the same as your ring finger. But if we are going by the diversity (or uniqueness) of the locations, your hand is almost as bad as it gets. So, how are we going to work around this? Well, when thinking about how I was going to use my hand for a memory palace, I came up with a creative idea. I decided to use a gesture for each of my fingers to make each finger more unique.

What do I mean by gesture? Well, I’ll just tell you the gestures I use for my hand. For my thumb, I imagine giving a thumbs up. For my index finger, I imagine pointing. For my middle finger, I imagine giving the middle finger gesture to someone. For my ring finger, I imagine a ring on it. For my pinky finger, I imagine drinking tea with my pinky finger up. And lastly for the palm, I did not need to do anything different because it is unique enough, but if you really want to, you could imagine a high five. So:

  • Thumb ⇒ Thumbs up
  • Index Finger ⇒ Pointing
  • Middle Finger ⇒ An impolite gesture
  • Ring Finger ⇒ The finger with a ring on it
  • Pinky ⇒ Lifting my pinky up
  • Palm ⇒ Just the palm (or a high five)

Now, when you go to place each image, you will place it on the finger while it is doing the gesture. This way you will be able to distinguish between each finger and not get confused.

Okay now, we have two hands and they are both very similar. So, how are we supposed to distinguish between are left and our right hand? Personally, I use a little trick. If you remember from my post on the memory palace post, I said I always follow a rule when going through my memory palaces. This rule is the right hand rule. I always make sure the images in my journey are to the right of me. In other words, my right hand is always up against the images. For my hands, I imagine walking on my hand with my right hand facing the tip of my fingers. That means that I start at my thumb on the right hand, and I start with my pinky on my left hand. For me, this is enough to distinguish both hands from each other. Additionally, if your memory palace crosses from one hand onto the other, you don’t need to worry about this as much. If you are having trouble using this technique, then you can try other strategies. Perhaps, you can imagine an R in the center of your right hand, and an L in the center of your left. Or you could try imagining your right hand to be green and your left hand to be red.

Let’s Do Some Practice

Let’s say for one reason or another you want to memorize the top twelve Christmas movies of all time. And let’s also assume that you value this information so much that you want to store it on your hand.

Okay, so the top twelve best Christmas movies according to Google are:

  1. Elf
  2. Home Alone
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life
  4. The Holiday
  5. Miracle on 34th Street
  6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  7. A Christmas Story
  8. Love Actually
  9. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  11. White Christmas
  12. The Santa Clause

Okay, so now we will need to make the images for them and place them on our hand. For example, on our thumb, we can place Will Ferrell in his elf costume while we are giving a thumbs up. For home alone, we can imagine ourselves being home alone on our ring finger, and so forth. Go ahead and try this! Now whenever, we need to quickly remember which Christmas movies were the best, we can look at our hands and figure it out! (Also. as a warning, don’t actually review this palace too much or else it will stick and you won’t be able to use your hand for a useful palace)

Other Creative Palaces

Like I mentioned earlier, this is not the only creative memory palace you can come up with. Some memory palaces you could use are your phone, your reflection, your notebook, your credit card, or your desk.  But these memory palaces do present some challenges. For example, let’s think about the phone. On the phone there are four corners, but they are pretty similar. What would you do to distinguish the corners? Would you use the back of the phone as well? Would you use the center of the phone? As an exercise I would definitely recommend trying to use your phone as a memory palace.

For your memory palaces, you should start thinking outside of the box. This will help you with the creative thinking you need to make images, and you may also stumble across an amazing idea!

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, just comment below!

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