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10 Facts About Memory

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You Can Learn to Improve Your Memory
10 Facts About Memory

Using tools such as a reminder calendar is one way to improve your memory.

Photo by Pawel Kryj

Do you ever feel like you are constantly forgetting things or misplacing objects that you use every day? Have you ever found yourself walking into a room only to realize that you can't remember why you went in there in the first place? While it might seem like you are doomed to simply tolerate these daily annoyances, researchers have found that you can learn how to improve your memory.

A 2005 cover story in the Monitor on Psychology summarized research revealing a number of useful strategies to deal with mild memory loss. These techniques include:

  • Utilizing technology to keep track of information. Tools such as hand-held mobile devices and online reminder calendars can help people keep track of appointments and other important dates. Using a reminder app on your phone can be a handy way to stay on top of important dates and events.

  • Taking a "mental picture" can help. Systematically trying to make a mental note of things you often forget (such as where you left your car keys) can help you remember things better. The next time you set your keys down somewhere, take a moment to mentally note where you left them as well as the other objects that were nearby. If you think to yourself "I left my keys by my wallet on the desk," you'll probably find it easier to recall the information later.

  • Use memorization techniques. Rehearsing information, employing mnemonics, and other memorization strategies are perhaps the best ways to overcome minor memory problems. By learning how to use these strategies effectively, you can sidestep the faulty areas of your memory and train your brain to function in new ways.
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