How to Stop Forgetting Things

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Whether you have had a problem with memory all of your life, or you are finding that age or other circumstances are making your memory worse, it can be very frustrating to forget things. Luckily, the brain is one of the most trainable parts of the body. If you find yourself forgetting more often than you want, try a few of these tricks (if you can remember to do them):

Call the Doctor
For many, forgetting is a way of life. For some, however, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. If the fact that you're forgetting things is new, be sure to bring it up at your next physical exam. Let the doctor know how much worse than normal it is. They may be able to find a medical cause for the forgetfulness, and answers to your questions.

Take a Pill
There are a number of different supplements that claim to support memory. Though not all of them are good, not all of them are bad, either. Two supplements that the medical community has paid special attention to of late are fish oil and probiotics. Fish oil is a known source of Omega 3 acids, which are a critical component in the makeup of nerve cells. Some studies are beginning to show that it can reverse brain damage caused by things like drug use, and it has been linked to focus and mood enhancement. Its ability to combat anxiety can, in many cases, keep your mind away from worrying and free to remember what you need to. The second pill is the probiotic, which is a colony of the good bacteria that are supposed to live in your gut. Recent medical studies are showing that a good distribution and variety of these good bacteria, rather than yeast and bad bacteria that can take over due to poor diet and antibiotic use, can calm mood, reduce anxiety and increase focus. All of the above are great ways to keep your mind calm enough to remember the stuff you need to.

Simplify and Unplug
The busier our lives get, and the more we multitask, the more we are learning about something called decision fatigue. There is a reason that important heads of state will buy the same suit for every day of the week. It eliminates one of the thousands of important choices they will make all day. We only have a capacity to choose so many things before it exhausts us. If you are a multitasker, be certain to cut down. If you are addicted to the internet or media in any form, unplug for a weekend and allow your focus and concentration to reset. As a bonus, go for a walk or other form of exercise. This is also known to be a great brain enhancing activity.

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