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Try the ideas on this memory tip list to give yourself a brain boost.
Having trouble remembering appointments, items you need at the grocery store, or where you put your keys? Everyone has moments when something slips their mind. If this has been happening to you with increasing frequently, try doing a few easy brain exercises each day to help improve memory.
Luckily, mental workouts can be just as effective for your brain as physical workouts are for your body.
Memory Tip: 10 Ways to Improve Memory
Start with the first tip and then add one more idea each day to help improve your memory:
1. Focus on what you're trying to remember. Take time to think about what you need to remember, whether it's a list of names, chores, or items to buy. Spending a few moments actively processing your thoughts can make it easier to recall what you need to remember in the future.
2. Link your list. Try to remember several things or ideas at once by linking them together in your mind. If you want to memorize your grocery list, for instance, connect the items you need together with a specific image or action in your head. Imagine you're in your laundry room holding a container of detergent, then walk into your kitchen to get some bread and milk, then move to the bathroom to replenish the toilet paper.
3. Personalize your list. Organize lists into short, manageable sections, and try to connect items to something that's easier for you to remember. Improve memory by linking lists of numbers, for example, to personally relevant dates like your birthday or interesting historical dates.
4. Create a visual image. If you're trying to remember someone's name, visualize an object that will help remind you in the future. Think of summer for a woman named June or a cat for someone named Catherine.
5. Create an acronym. Train your brain to remember items in a specific sequence by creating a word to represent the objects. Try using the first letter of each item on your shopping list to form a word. For instance, MOST can stand for milk, oranges, soap, toilet paper.
6. Use all of your senses to help improve memory. Afraid you're going to forget your next hair appointment or dinner with a friend? Verbally list your appointments out loud and then think about the softness of your hair after a salon visit and the aroma of the food at your favorite restaurant to help solidify the dates in your mind.
7. Write it down. Even if you don't actually use your list or a note to remind you of an appointment, simply writing the information down will help your brain retain it.
8. Create a rhyme. How did you learn the alphabet or the number of days in each month when you were little? You probably learned them with the help of a song or rhyme. Try doing the same thing with names, appointments, and lists.
9. Make it manageable. Organize a long list into shorter lists that are easier to remember. Instead of trying to remember a dozen different items, create four mini-lists with only three things you need to remember from each.
10. Be positive. Don't doubt yourself — our brains can often do more than we realize. Regularly practice these tips to help improve memory, and you'll be amazed by how much more you can remember.
By Diana Rodriguez
Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH