16 Ways to Refresh Your Memory When You Forget

16 Ways to Refresh Your Memory When You Forget

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Can’t remember where you put your car keys? You’re not alone. Everyone has a lapse in memory once in a while. Your brain is regularly forgetting things. A considerable percentage of what you do is forgotten within a short time. So, it would help if you had clever ways to refresh your memory so you can find those misplaced car keys.

Here are sixteen helpful tips to refresh your memory when finding yourself in a pinch

Do you often wish you knew how to improve your memory? Try these sixteen methods to make it easier to recall things. With some practice, they become second nature.

1 – Turn words into a picture

Pictures are easy to remember. If you need to recall a meeting with someone, try to create an image in your mind. First, visualize the person’s face with 9 AM across their face. This visual picture will refresh your memory so you can remember both the meeting and the time of your appointment.

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2 – Come up with a rhyme

You may have memorized the short rhyme to remember how many days are in each month. Similar to that, you can make up rhymes to jog your memory. If you want to remember to buy bread at the store, you can say, “Buy bread at the store because we have no more.” It’s silly sounding. But it works if you’re trying to store a memory. Make the rhymes as silly as possible to make them more memorable.

3 – Use mnemonic devices

A mnemonic device is a learning technique that helps you retain information and retrieve it. Things like acronyms for the names of the Great Lakes-Homes, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior-HOMES, are simple ways of using a mnemonic device.

Here are a few other memory hacks to help refresh your memory.

  • The Method of Loci: This is one of the oldest forms of memorizing. It was used by the ancient Greeks. First, you imagine a familiar place such as your home. Then you imagine that each room in your home contains the objects you’re trying to memorize. You visualize yourself walking from room to room, placing the objects in each room. When you want to retrieve these objects, you imagine yourself walking back to each room and picking up each item.
  • Singing a song: Music is a great way to jog your memory. Use a simple, memorable tune like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” then put whatever you’re trying to remember instead of the familiar words. You can learn the names of people, places or things this way.
  • Linking: Sometimes called chaining, the idea is to create a story and add the information you need to remember. Many children play a game listing all things they’re taking on a picnic. Each child must recite what’s already been said, then add something new to the list. You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can remember on your list.

4 – State your intentions

Even if you have regular daily habits simultaneously, it’s easy to forget to do stuff. Some suggest that if you create an intention, you’ll be able to remember something better. For instance, if you say out loud, “I’m going to take my vitamin D supplement every morning after I walk the dog,” you’ll remember it better. Just stating your intentions out loud improves your memory.

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5 – Picture that name

Ever forgot a person’s name the moment they said it? It isn’t enjoyable. It’s important to remember names. You show care to people when you say their words. A way to recall a person’s name is to instantly come up with a picture association when they tell you their name. This gives you a better chance of remembering their name. So, if you meet Linda, you think of a picture of Linda linking arms with a limo. Using alliteration helps.

Another way to remember someone’s name is to add a person’s description with the same first letter. So, if you meet Chris, and so you say in your head, “Chris is creative.” If you meet Sherrie, and you say in your head, “Sherrie is shaggy.”

6 – Talk to yourself

Have you ever found yourself racking your brain to remember if you blew out that scented candle on the dining room table before you walked out of the house? It can drive you crazy wondering, and maybe you’ve even had to run home to check. To help avoid these stressful situations, try talking out loud to yourself as you complete a task, so later on, you’ll remember that you did it.  For example, when you’re blowing out the candle, say out loud, “I’m blowing out the candle.” This plants that action in your brain and gives you some peace of mind.

 7 – Keep doodling

How many times did you get in trouble for doodling in class when you were in school?

Studies show that doodlers do better at recalling information than those who don’t doodle. Doodling is a form of fidgeting, which many people feel is a sign of being distracted. But fidgeting or doodling gives your brain a break, making it easier for your brain to receive the information being shared. So, if you’re in a meeting at work, be sure to doodle.

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8 – Blow it up

One person suggested there’s a way to never forget your cell phone again. When you lay your cellphone down on the table, stop for a second, take a good look at where your phone is sitting, and then visualize your cell phone blowing up. It’s a pretty dramatic way to remember things, but that’s the point. Good chance if you visualize blowing up your cell phone, you won’t forget where you put it.

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9 – Go to sleep

Your memory gets strengthened as you sleep. Sometimes the best way to remember something is to go to bed. This allows your brain to relax and rest. You’re likely to wake up in the morning and remember exactly where you put the missing object.

 10 – Pick a celebrity

When you meet a new person, remember their name by using a clever trick. As you say their name, take a good look at their face. Then consider if they look sort of like a famous person. Not everyone will look like a celebrity, but you make an effort to find someone in history they resemble. So, for instance, you meet a guy named Chris, you say to yourself, “He looks like Chris Evans.” Once you’ve connected them to a famous person, you won’t forget their name.

11 – Grocery store gimmick

Come up with an outlandish story to help you remember a list of things. So, if you need something at a home repair store, you can say something like, “A hammer hit the nail on the lampshade until the battery died.” The crazier the story, the more apt you are to remember it.

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12 – Throw it in the backseat

If you’re driving to a store and you suddenly remember something you need, take off your ring and put it on another finger. Or, If you’re not wearing a ring, take your hat or purse and throw it in the backseat of your car. When you arrive at the store, you’ll see your hat or bag in the backseat and remember how it ended up there.

13 – Okay, make a fist

It sounds crazy, but supposedly, if you ball up your right hand and squeeze tightly when you’re trying to memorize something, it’s easier to remember. Plus, when it’s time to pull up the memory, press your left fist tightly, and you’ll remember it. These movements activate a specific part of your brain that stores and recalls your memories. Don’t you wish someone had taught you this strategy in history class?

14 – Picture that in your head

So, another clever way to memorize something is to create a mental snapshot of it. So, if you put your phone on your desk, visualize the desk making a phone call on your cell phone. You’ll remember the silly picture plus where you put your phone.

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15Take a short break

Researchers found that taking a short break, such as going for a walk, can improve your memory. Short breaks help strengthen the memory of something you just learned. For instance, they found that taking short breaks while practicing the piano improved a player’s ability to remember the notes of a song.

16 – Chunking

Another way to refresh your memory is to chunk or group things. When you’re memorizing a group of numbers, break them into chunks so you can remember them better. Some people like to come up with a rhythm to the numbers they’re chunking. So, if they’re memorizing a list of numbers, they’ll say, “689-440-276-90.” Combining the grouping of the numbers and adding a rhythm can help your brain retain the list of numbers.

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Final thoughts on using these recall techniques to refresh your memory

Everyone forgets where they put their car keys once in a while. But it’s embarrassing when you meet someone new and instantly forget their name. Hopefully, these sixteen tips will help refresh your memory in a pinch, so you find those car keys and remember the name of that new person.

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Jennifer is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Before she started writing, Jennifer was an elementary school instructional assistant, home educator, and missionary. She has a BA degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She's a member of Redeeming Grace Church in Fairfax, Va. When she's not writing, she's hanging out with her family and dog, Sam. Member of: American Christian Fiction Writers Fellowship ACFW; Capital Christian Writer Fellowship CCWF

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