How Can I Remember Things I Have Forgotten?

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If you forget things often, it may signal that you aren't forming strong memories because you're often multitasking. The best strategy is to learn to make stronger memories, and there are certain strategies to help you remember things you've already forgotten. If you're forgetting more than usual, talk to a doctor. Memory problems can be a sign of health condition, such as dementia.

  • Take a deep breath to clear your mind. Jog your memory by talking about what you're trying to remember. For instance, if you're trying to remember the ingredients in a recipe, describe the dish.

  • Recite the alphabet. If you're trying to remember a certain word, the letter it starts with may trigger your memory. For instance, if you're taking a test on U.S. history, the letter N may help you remember the "New Deal."

  • Retrace your steps. If you've entered a room and can't remember why, think about what you were doing before you walked into the room.

  • Focus on something else. If you can't remember by talking about it, the memory may come to you later when you're working on something else.

Tips & Warnings

  • In the future, you can prevent yourself from forgetting things you want to remember by creating an interesting visual. For example, if you have to remember to go to the dentist and pick up milk, picture your dentist with a milk mustache. You also can keep your brain sharp by exercising regularly and playing challenging mind games, such as mah-jongg.

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