The Best Ways to Remember Things

You rely on your memory to help you know where you put your keys, the name of your loved ones and your friends’ phone numbers. However, when you experience memory function that breaks down, you can build memory muscle with exercise that helps you to more accurately retrieve needed memories.

Linking

Linking important information to something you can definitively remember is a memory strategy that can improve recall, according to helpguide.org. Think of this approach as adding links on a chain. You meet a person whose name is Amanda. Now think of another person you know named Amanda. Do they have the same hair color? Are they from the same hometown, or do they have a mutual friend? Establish the link to help you recall Amanda’s name by remembering she is the Amanda with brown hair or a mutual friend.

Sleep

According to a report on CBS News, a study from Harvard Medical School found that those who slept or napped deeply enough to dream experienced greater memory performance. Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a health expert from CBS News, theorized that extra or deeper sleep allows a person’s memory to process, solidifying important information and making it easier to recall it. Dr. Ashton suggests that napping as little as 12 minutes extra a day can help a person experience greater memory benefits.

Distractions

According to Realsimple.com, distractions can prevent you from remembering important details. This means that you should evaluate your surroundings when you enter a room–think about the smells, sights and sounds that are in a particular place. This can help you to recall a memory when needed.

This also is useful when you find yourself distracted and forget why you entered a particular room. Before you walk into the room, visualize what you need and where it should be placed in the room. Visualize yourself entering the room and going straight to what you came for.

Repetition

Recalling names is a matter of both storage and retrieval, notes Realsimple.com. By addressing one or both of these problems, you can improve your ability to remember names. When you are introduced to someone, repeat her name several times in conversation. Closely examine the person and connect her facial features to her name. For example, if Becky has brown eyes, remember her as Becky Brown Eyes. This will help you to recall her more easily.

About this Author

Rachel Nelson began writing in 2003. She is a managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and “Charleston,” “Chatter” and “Reach” magazines. She enjoys writing beauty and health articles, particularly those that focus on skin care. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee.