Brain rule # 4: We don’t pay attention to boring things. The less emotion attached to anything, the less likely we are to remember it.
According to author, John Medina in his book, Brain Rules, beyond our individual wiring, the things that most affect our ability to remember are stress, sleep, exercise, and chronic multitasking. I (the Flashionista) have been testing (purely non-scientific) a few tricks to optimize my memory. My empirical findings are that these tricks work when I work at them.
How to Remember What You Don’t Want to Forget:
Pay attention. The main reason we lose track of things like keys and cars is we’re distracted and aren’t paying attention to where we leave them. Being in the moment is a place of enlightenment a lot of us miss out on in our overscheduled lives.
Remember & Repeat. John Medina’s Brain Rules #5 & 6 work wonders when meeting new people. For short term memory, repeat to remember. For long term memory, remember to repeat.
Make associations. Visualization helps hold onto information better than almost anything else you can do. Since names often present a challenge, after employing the R & R trick, create a visual association between the person you want to remember and their name.
Eat to remember. In addition to what we know about eating from the list of “superfoods,” there is increasing evidence that Vitamin B12 helps protect the brain against age-related deterioration. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, milk and dairy products are high in Vitamin B12. It is also needed for the formation of new blood cells. If you’re a strict vegetarian, you may need to take a good quality B12 supplement.