Boost your memory and develop habits that can help counter age-related memory loss:
- Make associations For example, if you’re introduced to Fred who has red hair, link his name to his hair color.
- Choose what to remember If you meet several people at once, focus on remembering a few key names.
- Recite, retrieve and review Recite key information several times to learn it and retrieve it often. Review information you’ll need, such as paging through your high-school yearbook before your reunion.
- Break it down Break down new information into units. For example, to memorize a long-distance phone number, break it down into the area code, three-digit exchange and four remaining numbers.
- Pay attention Forgetfulness may indicate nothing more than having too much on your mind. Slow down and pay full attention to the task at hand. Reduce distractions.
- Keep track of appointments, tasks and contacts Use appointment books, calendars, to-do lists, address books or computer software — whatever works for you.
- Develop routines For example, put frequently used items such as keys in a designated spot when not using them.
- Create rituals and cues for common tasks For example, make sure your keys are in hand before locking your car doors. Place packages you need to mail near the front door so that you won’t forget them.
- Consider meditation Preliminary research indicates that meditation increases blood flow to the area of the brain that’s associated with memory.