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.”
• 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.