Have you ever struggled to remember the name of an acquaintance, place, or even a favorite TV show? When you go out, do you have trouble recalling whether you turned off the stove or locked your front door? As frustrating as these occurrences may be, they’re also natural.
Minor memory lapses happen to people of all ages, though memory loss can increase with age and become more pronounced over the years.
Thankfully, there are several creative ways to help stave off memory lapses. The next time you find yourself struggling to remember something, try one of these tips and tricks:
Write Tings Down: It sounds obvious, but writing things down – an appointment, the name of someone you just met, etc. – can be a very helpful memory tool. Perhaps try keeping a journal of important dates and names that you can easily refer to; this way, all the information you need will be in one convenient place.
Say Things Out Loud: If you’re having trouble remembering if you’ve completed certain tasks after leaving your home, try saying the task out loud as you’re doing it. For example, say, “I’m turning off the stove” as you turn it off . This gives you an extra verbal reminder when you’re racking your brain later trying to recall whether your stove is off or not. This can also be helpful when meeting someone new. If a person introduces himself as Bill, say, “Nice to meet you, Bill” in response. It will help you recall his name the next time you see him.
Use a Mnemonic Device: A mnemonic is any technique used to help you remember something. For example, when memorizing a list, try grouping the items as an acronym. If you need milk, apples, and cheese at the store, you can jog your memory by grouping them as “MAC” in your mind. Then instead of remembering three things, you only have to remember one word.
Have a Designated “Stuff ” Spot: Are you constantly misplacing your “stuff ,” whether it’s your keys, phone, wallet/purse, etc.? Having a designated area – a table by the front door, or a desk, for example – where you always drop your items when you come home will go a long way in helping you avoid scrambling to find something you need.
Use Visual Images: When learning something new, create a visual image in your mind to associate with what you’ve learned. It could be something simple, like a picture of a flower if someone’s name is Rose, or something more whimsical. Just make sure it’s memorable so you can associate it with the new thing you’ve learned the next time you need to remember it.
Concentrate and Relax: Plenty of things can be distracting when you’re trying to memorize something new, from a blaring TV screen to background noise on a busy street. Make sure to pay close attention and concentrate on whatever it is you’ll need to remember. It may sound simple, but a lack of initial concentration is a big reason why we can forget things so quickly.
If you still feel as though you’re having memory problems, be sure to rule out other causes of memory loss. If you suspect that you are having memory difficulties, consult your doctor.
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