by Len Horridge

Summary of memory tips

So, below are some strategies to a better memory (bearing in mind that your memory is good anyway!).

  • Realise and believe that you do have a good memory.
  • Even if you lose 10,000 brain cells every day, the total number we will have lost by age 80 is still only three per cent of our total capacity.
  • Practise: like your body, your brain improves when it is used. Even when you really don’t have to remember things, do it, just to prove you can.
  • Link items together to get a story. For example, if you need to recall a note for the milk, to feed the cat, pay a bill and contact a friend, put these all together (with visuals) to make a combined story.
  • Use your preferred sense to remember things – songs, words, pictures and even smells can all help.
  • Anchor or peg the things you really want to remember to give you a trigger when you want to recall.
  • Break it down: a telephone number is not eleven numbers but three groups (4-3-4); remembering three things is easier than recalling eleven.
  • Repeat things. To recall the parking level where you left your car, repeat the floor number three times and then picture a yellow sign with the black number on and, if required, say it out loud.
  • Don’t atrophy in later life, thinking you can’t do much about the effects of ageing. You can! Like your muscles, the more you exercise your brain, the fitter it will be. Play chess or do crosswords; in fact, any games or pastimes that exercise the brain are brilliant at keeping it toned and ready. Unless you really do want to sit in front of the television and switch off...
  • But exercise, too. Physical exercise also stimulates the brain. Take dancing lessons!
  • Relax! You can then recall things easily.
  • Challenge the belief that your memory gets worse as you get older. It doesn’t have to.
  • If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

And remember that the brain is just like the rest of your body, it needs regular workouts to perform at its best. Above all, keep it active: crosswords, word games, logic puzzles even computer games, anything that needs some THOUGHT and action are very good for the brain and its longevity.

The more you work it, the better it will be.

And as for those mundane things that many of us tend to forget, let’s face it, people like you and I have more important things to be concerned with, in which case it’s a good option to take a piece of paper and a pen and make a list.