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Improve Your Memory: 10 Quick And Easy Tips

Aug 17, 2007
You don't have to stay stuck with a poor memory. Here are 10 quick and easy tips to help improve your memory.

There are many songs, poems, and stories written about the difficulty associated with forgetting the past, a lost love, or a broken heart. Finding things hard to forget, however, is not so much a problem as remembering things that should not be forgotten. Whether you are looking for a blouse you wanted to buy, or the keys to your car, forgetfulness can often be annoying.

Forgetfulness, however, is only temporary, and can be made milder by a few techniques in mnemonics. If you are constantly forgetting where you left your wallet or purse, where your car is parked, or even where you are, then you may want to pay attention to these tips to improve your memory.

1. Do not self-diagnose your lack of memory skills as a disease, or as something that will lead to Alzheimer's. This state of mind may make you resigned to the fact that you are forgetful; it will also make you complacent, and unwilling to take up techniques to improve your memory. Remember: you know you have Alzheimer's not if you do not remember where your keys are, but if you forget what they are for.

Instead of that bleak outlook on your state of forgetfulness, maintain a positive view on your lack of memory skills. Be willing to make changes in yourself. Without the will to make yourself better, the nine other tips in this list will be for nothing.

2. Don't be afraid to make lists. Some people often associate lists with forgetful people, and they eschew making such things, thinking that they can remember everything. What a list does, however, is remind you, not substitute for your mind. A grocery list will allow you to concentrate on getting the best prices for that can of beans, instead of focusing your energy on trying to remember what you are supposed to get in the first place.

3. Challenge yourself, even with the list in your hand. You can test your memory skills by looking your grocery list over, and then listing the items in your head. Keep the list in your pocket, then go around the supermarket to get the things that you remembered to list. When you have given up trying to remember, look at your list again. Try to improve on the number of things that you remembered each time you take the list out, or each time you need to get your groceries done.

4. Studies show that we remember the most insane, ridiculous things. Take advantage of this human trait by turning your task into a ludicrous scenario. For instance, if you are going to the grocery to get celery, peanut butter, and bread, you can imagine a jar of peanut butter lying down on a bed of bread, and laughing as a stalk of celery tickles it. The more ridiculous the scenario, the easier it will be for you to remember what you need to.

5. Use mnemonics, usually via acronyms, to remember things. To return to the previous example, you can create the acronym 'CPB' to stand for celery, peanut butter, and bread, respectively. For better memory, you can even turn 'CPB' into a sentence or phrase, such as 'Cute Papa Bear' or 'Cut that Piece of Bread'. You can extend the acronym as well, just in case you forget what the C, P, and B stand for.

6. If you are alone, talk to yourself as you perform each task that you must remember doing. This technique works to improve your memory at home, or in the office, where you have a list of things to do before you leave the place. This can include switching your computer off, making sure that all switches are turned off, or that all appliances are unplugged. As you go about each task, acknowledge aloud that it has been done. This can help your brain remind you to perform a task you might forget to do.

7. Play memory games on your computer, or with a deck of cards. The key to maintaining a good memory is to keep your mind running as often as possible.

8. Make a song out of your list of things to do or buy, and use a familiar melody. This technique, often used by students to remember historical facts or even scientific formulae, actually makes the brain more receptive to information because learning is suddenly made fun.

9. Eat protein-rich foods, such as meat or fish. Protein will contain large amounts of important amino acids, which can aid your body in producing neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, among other functions, can ensure that your brain will constantly perform no matter what the circumstances.

10. Drink a lot of water. Toxins in your body force your brain to do more cleaning up rather than remembering and learning. Forgetfulness is annoying, but it is only temporary. With the proper diet and techniques, you can improve your memory and do better at your job.

Be proactive about using mnemonics and these other tips to improve your memory.
About the Author
Pick up your Free Recovery Rolodex, Over 88 pages of self help and recovery tips, resources and links to enhance your life in addiction recovery.The author, Bill Urell MA.CAAP-II, is an addictions therapist at a leading residential treatment center. He teaches healthy life styles and life skills. Join our growing community. Tell your story! Visit: http://www.AddictionRecoveryBasics.com/
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