Keeping the memory in shape is important at any age, but it requires a bit more work as we mature. There are scientifically designed brain training programs that will give your mind a great workout, but there are also some simple activities you can integrate into your life that can go a long way to improve your memory.
Here are five from Erin Matlock to get you started.
Increase your focus.
Focus on the information you are trying to remember. Tune out the T.V., coworkers, spouse and telephone – and line up some brain games for the kids. If you can take a quick minute to shift your attention away from any and all distractions and concentrate solely on your task, you’ll gain an automatic memory boost.
Employ your senses.
Use your senses to help your memory store needed information. Note the colors of a picture you want to recall. Is the sky a light blue or deep purple? What does the image smell like? What sounds are being made? The more involved you can be in the information, the easier it is for your brain to store and retrieve it.
Trying to remember names? Let’s say you meet a man named Frank Parker. Picture a hot dog for Frank and a parked car for Parker. Tie the two together by picturing Frank dressed up in a hot dog costume parking his car in the mall parking lot. Make it even more memorable by seeing him accidentally bump into the car in front of him. Now each time you see Frank, you should easily recall his name.
Breathe deeply and relax.
Yeah, I know – a no brainer, right? When we try hard to remember something we often tense up. This changes our natural breathing pattern and sends stress signals throughout the body. Relax, breathe deeply and slowly and let your mind ease up for a minute. Being relaxed makes it easier for information to be both stored and recalled.
Give yourself a positive mental command.
When you come upon something you need to remember, say to yourself, “Hey, pay attention and remember this!” You are giving yourself a wake-up call as well as giving your mind a mental marker that it can use to aid in filing the new information.
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