Cheri Burcham

Since we just finished celebrating Brain Health Awareness Week, I would like to share a few simple strategies that can help us improve our memory and ability to learn:

Relax: Tension makes memory lapses more likely. Reducing stress improves learning and recall.

Slow down, pay attention, and stay focused: If you want to recall something later, pay close attention to it now. Concentrate on what you’re doing and reduce distractions and interruptions. Don’t rush. Focus and attention take time.

Repeat it: Repetition strengthens connections in your brain.

Write it down: Putting important information in writing both repeats it and provides a visual reminder. Carry a notepad, calendar, or use your smartphone.

Visualize: Creating an image of what you want to remember improves recall by giving your brain another way to access the information.

Make associations: Relate new experiences and information to what you already know, to embed it in existing synaptic connections. This strategy can be useful in remembering names: at a dinner party, you might associate “Pam” with “red dress” and “red wine.”

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Stay organized: Keep things you regularly use in the same place — put keys on a hook by the door, your wallet in a basket on your dresser.