A Perfect Memory Can Be Yours with Just a Few Simple Changes to Your Lifestyle

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

A Perfect Memory Can Be Yours with Just a Few Simple Changes to Your Lifestyle


MOST of us can lose our train of thought midway through a sentence but when you're a stand-up comic, it can spell disaster - as comedian Billy Connolly knows.

The 70-year-old Scot has admitted he suffers from worrying bouts of memory loss on stage and sometimes cannot remember his punch lines for gags.

But absent-mindedness is not just about "senior moments", says neuropsychologist Dr Joanna Iddon, co-author of Memory Boosters (Hamlyn Press, PS6.99).

"In a recent study of healthy adults, the average number of memory slips, like putting the coffee jar in the fridge, was around six per week, irrespective of age, gender and intelligence," says Dr Iddon.

"In fact, it was the younger, busier people that were the most absent-minded.

Luckily, there are some tricks and strategies to help you banish those thingumabob moments.

ASSOCIATE THE MEMORY WITH THE ENVIRONMENT So if, for example, a joke is learned in the presence of a particular smell, that same aroma may cue the memory for that joke.

"More simply, when in an exam, I advise students to visualise the place in which they were revising as a cue to memory," says Andrew Johnson, memory specialist and lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University.

CLENCH YOUR FIST Research suggests that balling up your right hand and squeezing it tightly makes it easier to memorise phone numbers or lists. When you want to remember, clench the left fist.

LEARN SOMETHING BEFORE BED "The best way to 'consolidate a memory' is to go through the information just before going to sleep," explains Dr Johnson. …

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