1. Create a Mind Map
Before leaving, check the route you are going to do. Select the path, read the names of the major streets or major avenues that you are going to cross.
You can even follow the path on the map with your finger, Brendan Kelley, a neurologist at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in the United States, told the New York Times.
This will give a context to the route you are going to follow. It is also important once you arrive, look again at the map and the route you just made, this will reinforce the memory of how you got there.
2. Look at the landscape
A basic recommendation is to take into account the highlights of the environment, such as tall buildings, a telephone tower, the dome of a church or a monument. These architectural details serve as a reference point to know if the place where we go is before, then left or right.
It is important to note these places – such as a park or a statue – before leaving, so we can get an idea of what we are going to find along the way. If part of the plan includes returning (walking or cycling, for example) along the same road, it is important to look back when we go, since the landscape may seem very different from one way to the other. It will also help us to better orient ourselves to take into account if the road is flat or if we have gone up or down.
3. Leaving the technology for a while
In expert opinion, technologies such as GPS, while being of great help at the time, inhibit the development of a better sense of direction.
“If we are in a new city and we want to get an idea of the place, always, as in other learning processes, we learn better when we do it for ourselves,” says Marín.Driving without help will allow us to create a better mental map of the city we are exploring.
However, according to Claire Davies, a researcher with the Ordnance Survey, the UK cartographic agency, “although technology is currently worsening the sense of orientation of the majority, because it distracts us too much to notice what is around us , If we use it to learn how the map compares with reality, it can help us improve our ability to orient ourselves. ”
4. Keep Calm
And, although it may seem silly, it is essential to remain calm and control anxiety levels .
“Our cognitive resources are limited and if we are nervous they reduce and we pay less attention (to the space), because we direct those efforts towards other things, like the concern to be late”, explains the researcher. Davies agrees that maintaining peace of mind is a great help.
“Some studies have shown that people, especially women, perform poorly on space-related tasks when they think they are bad for it,” he says. BBC World.
5. Change the Routes
This is an exercise that is worth doing, although sometimes it takes us longer than taking the accustomed path. If we vary the route, the mental map that we have made of a particular area grows and becomes more complex.
On the one hand allows us to know the space better, and if we have to go to another place, near the initial place, we can do it without first going to the place we know and from there to the new place.