4 easy steps to train your memory

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Do you continueously find yourself forgetting the most simplest of thing and misplacing items around your home? And of course there is nothing worse than forgetting someone’s name when you’re introducing them!  You might not realise it, but your brain is designed to forget – that’s right, to forget! 

elephantNo, it’s not a misprint. Your brain is working hard all day long forgetting things, so you don’t have a brain overload malfunction.  Just imagine what it would be like if your memory remembered every little detail of every moment of every day.  It would be like a camera clicking in your head every nanosecond.  To keep memory manageable your clever brain filters out everything it thinks you don’t need. 

The trick is to give your brain clear signals about the things you want to remember.

So how do you do that?

Its a huge topic to cover and you can read more in the book 7-Day Brain Boost Plan.  But try these 4 easy ways to help you remember.

  1. Focus on what you need to remember.

Don’t expect to listen or look for a second or two and then you will remember.  You need to concentrate for about seven seconds if you want to remember something later.  Try it.  It may seem a long time, but if you spend this time repeating, connecting or visualising the information you will remember it.

  1. Use ONE diary.

Put everything in one diary so you are not scrambling through several calendars each time you want to check something.

  1. Get your surroundings organised.

storageEstablish places for all the items you regularly lose and use them!  Hooks for your keys, a drawer for your wallet, mobile, glasses and diary.  All need a defined place where you put them. Concentrate when you place them there to lock the action into your brain.

  1. Give your brain some help!

To remember appointments ahead of time (using your prospective memory) give your brain as many ‘hooks’ as you can.  In your mind, embed the details of the appointment in as many ways as you can. I’m meeting the accountant on Thursday at 9.30 am.  What is his/her name?  Where will I park the car?  Which floor of the building is it on?  What do I need to take?  What questions will I ask?  Where will I go once I have left that appointment at 10.30?  Use as many senses as you can – visualize the clock, building and face of the accountant, ‘hear’ the questions you will ask, ‘feel’ the papers you will need to take, and so on.

 

Are you already thinking that you haven’t a spare seven seconds to do this??  Well, think of how many minutes you waste trying to remember the time, day, location and name if you haven’t committed them to memory.  It’s a no-brainer!

 

Forgetfulness can ruin your confidence and your life.

Flashlight Shining on a Teddy Bear

When you forget something important, you feel all at sea and your confidence can take a serious hit.

This does not have to be the story of your life. Taking a few easy actions can quickly provide certainty in your memory, every day.

You’ll be glad you did!

 

 Writen by Dr. Allison Lamont

Read more from Allison here 

Dr. Allison Lamont is Director and Clinician at the Auckland Memory Clinic. For many more tips and fuller explanations of how you can regain your youthful memory, get your copy of 7-Day Brain Boost Plan and visit The Memory Foundation website.