I don’t know about you, but I can see our teacher, old Mr. Howarth, saying sternly, ‘Pay attention! Your minds are wandering!’ As I visualize the classroom filled with hot, squirmy kids on a Friday afternoon, he was probably right. (And actually, he probably wasn’t all that old, either, but he seemed ancient to his 10-year-old pupils).
Amazing, isn’t it, how easily your mind can be diverted from one thing to another, without taking in anything much. And, believe me, the older you get, the easier it is to drift off task. I wonder what I’ll make for dinner …… ooops, there I go again!
Getting distracted is one of the bad habits that I’ve learned I have to fight against tooth and nail to keep my brain alert and alive.
All the experts say that paying attention is the secret to a youthful memory.
Here are some other really useful pointers I want to share with you:
- Will yourself to remember; actively focus, focus, focus!
- Take an interest in what you want to remember – anything that doesn’t interest you or arouse your emotions will probably not be remembered
- Be aware of your environment – some people find some noise in the background helps them concentrate, while others need complete quiet.
- Practice concentration – this allows you to focus your attention on selected information without becoming distracted.
- Consider your personality – some people are more likely than others to be anxious, stressed, or have their ‘headspace’ racing with thoughts and distractions. Having an open-mind and an optimistic attitude will help you remember.
- Take pleasure in what you are doing – you are much more likely to concentrate on something you are enjoying
- Develop a motivated approach – this may be looking forward to achieving a goal, of succeeding, or bringing about your personal growth
- Be curious – the more curious you are about life in general, the more your attention is stimulated.
- Be aware of how you are feeling – when the information you have selected has an emotional content for you – if it makes you mad, or sad, or excited, then not only will you be very ready to focus, you’ll remember clearly
Look up other articles on keeping your brain alert – we Boomers have too much to lose to be careless about our memories.
– For more free help and personal advice on how to keep your brain youthful and improving your memory, please visit the Brain and Memory Foundation.