Have you ever drawn an utter blank in the middle of an important conversation? Or completely forgotten the name of the person who you were introduced to, a few seconds back? I have, and it’s happening a little too often these days. Almost every morning, I forget where I’ve kept my cellphone and ask someone to call me. This, when I’ve already forgotten that I had put the phone on silent mode in the first place!
Forgetfulness can be quite alarming. The first thought that comes to mind is that one is aging, or developing some brain disorder. Being absent-minded can also prompt people to mock us, and that can be quite stressful. Leaving aside serious medical conditions that may cause forgetfulness, most absent-mindedness can be attributed to a simple lack of attention or concentration. If you have too much on your plate, something’s bound to overflow. Right? Things like too much drinking, smoking or lack of healthy eating can cause memory dysfunction, and if you are willfully doing any of these to your body, I have no advice to give you. But if you aren’t, and you still forget — names or things or appointments— try these tips.
1 Pay attention:If you are not listening carefully to something, don’t blame your poor brain for not remembering it. You are being plain lazy. Just decide to listen to people, your memory will improve on its own.
2 Make a visual association in your mind for something you always get confused about, or forget. A non-Hindi speaking colleague, on shifting to Delhi, realised that she could never remember which one of the terms, daayein and baayein, referred to left and which one meant right. So she used the trick of joining the tip of her index finger to the tip of the thumb in a circle. The left hand made the English letter ‘b’ and the right resembled ‘d’. She never got daayein and baayein wrong again.
3 If you constantly forget important meetings or some task assigned to you, do something out of ordinary which may prove as a trigger to remind you. Like wear your watch on the wrong hand on that day. Everytime you would notice it, you'd remember why you did that, and hence the task.
4 Make a fixed place for things if you tend to leave them anywhere in your house. The small trouble of keeping a jar where you’d everyday drop your car keys as the first thing to do when you enter home, can save you from a much bigger trouble of raising your blood pressure while looking for them in the morning rush.
5 If what you often lose is not a thing, but the train of thoughts, and draw a blank in the middle of a conversation, don’t continue to blabber and say something inane. Just stop and admit honestly to the other person(s) that you’ve suddenly forgotten what point you were making. Since it happens, at times, to all of us, everyone understands and won’t judge you.
Finally, if any of these tips works out for you, don’t forget to write in and let me know.
Sonal Kalra has bought ‘important’ memory enhancing capsules. She will have them once she remembers where she has kept them.