3. Feed your head
"What's good for your body is good for your brain," says Henner. "Fruits, vegetables and legumes — basically any nutrient-rich foods — are all considered memory enhancers. Don't waste your time eating a lot of crap." And, she adds, don't forget to stay well-hydrated.
4. Sear in your memories
As you experience events throughout your day, ask yourself, "How can I bake this into my brain and make it a little more vivid?" For example, try doing a "sound check" every once in a while: What am I really hearing now? "Take a mental snapshot," suggests Henner, "or take a picture with your phone. Just try to grab something from the day. You can also try 'scrolling through your day' at night: As you brush your teeth, run a one-minute movie montage of that day's occurrences. That second go-round makes a huge difference."
5. Recruit a 'memory buddy'
"It's amazing how much bigger and brighter memories can become," notes Henner, "when you take the opportunity to spark off of someone else who was present in your past." For Henner, that's often her youngest brother, Lorin, her coauthor on the best-selling Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future. "He had forgotten an entire trip that we had taken together," she recalls, "and when I started prompting him, he kept saying, 'Oh my gosh! It's like a whole part of my life was missing, and now I have it back.' "
Stacy Jenel Smith, coauthor of Beck/Smith Hollywood, writes about entertainment for AARP Media.
Also of Interest
- TV for Grownups: The summer lineup
- Test your smarts about normal forgetfulness
- Share your wisdom and experience — help a child learn to read
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