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5 Tricks to Improve Your Memory

Do you want to sharpen your memory skills? Here are a couple of things that can help you remember an acquaintance’s name, a phone number or your lessons.

Hand Gestures: Waving your hands while learning a new concept can help you remember it. Jeff Brown, PsyD, ABPP, says, “Gesturing in a meaningful way while you are learning may help you when recalling the concept.” Try “writing” a new acquaintance’s name or her phone number on your palm with your finger. To retrieve your memory, simply trace it as you have “written” it.

Relax: Just chill and try not to burden yourself with stress. Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, PT, says, “Research shows that when people experience chronic stress, their hippocampus—the part of your brain that is responsible for some memories—literally shrinks in size.” Researchers from Rush University Medical School also discovered that distress and negative emotions increase the risk of memory problems.

Sleep: Getting enough sleep can help with memory recall, according to Dr. Brown. However, there’s a caveat: Don’t insert another activity or information between memorizing your info and going to sleep.

Book Club: Reading is good for introducing new information to your brain, but discussing it can help solidify your memory. Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, suggests, “Engage in deeper-level thinking activities such as interpreting what you read in a book, discussing the ‘larger messages’ in the book and pushing to see how many meanings you can derive from it.”

Doodle: Drawing anything that pops in your head can help you remember things. Cynthia Green, PhD, says, “Doodling has been found in studies to boost concentration, which is an essential first step to learning and memory.”


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