Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tricks To Improve Your Memory – Remedies for Senior Moments!

David Teten’s Brain Food Blog recently contained a Link to a fascinating article on “Tricks To Improve Your Memory,” originally published by Real Simple magazine. I intended to share the article with you last week, but I forgot!!!

I found this brief article to contain some very practical hints and tips for remembering mundane things.,21863,1181370,00.html?nid=8515060503-1188465

In addition to the tricks shared in the Link above, let me add one additional technique that I find very helpful in retaining memory of important items. I am primarily a visual learner, so I find a way to visualize a connection to the thing I am trying to remember. Here is a recent example.

I had dinner last evening with a new friend from Qatar, one of the Persian Gulf emirates. My friend was explaining to me the Qatari custom of extended families gathering each week in the home of the eldest member of the family in a tradition known as “Majlis.”

(Wikepedia defines Majlis as "an Arabic term for a room in a private home used to entertain family and guests. In some homes there is a women's Majlis and a men's Majlis.")

I wanted to be able to remember this word, but it was unlike any other word I knew, so I had no frame of reference - no hook on which to hang my memory of this new word. So, I first asked my friend to spell the word. I was able to visualize the letters and take a mental snapshot of the word written out. And then I sounded out the word to myself – “Mahjh – Lease.” Next, I envisioned a large room filled with berobed Arabs, and sitting in the front of the room presiding over the gathering was Marge Simpson! Marge was leaning to one side – “listing to starboard,” if you will - and was holding a long list in her hands. So, now when I want to remember the word, I see “listing Marge holding her list,” and I can’t fail to recall “Majlis”!

The principle here is that the more bizarre and graphic the image you envision, the more indelibly it will remain in your memory.

If this seems like more trouble than it is worth, well then . . . just forget it!


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