I got asked this weekend: “I’m starting to forget everything, are my long term memories gone forever?
The look on her face kinda scared me. I could tell she was frightened at the thought of losing her memory.
This is a common thought as we age. So I want to help out with a few powerful suggestions on how to keep your memory sharp long term.
How do you retrieve long term memories and keep them fresh?
If you believe you forget everything and can’t remember anything, you will suffer from confirmation bias.
You will notice all the times you can’t remember and think you’re always that way.
Do not believe you have a bad memory. Believe you can remember. Believe it’s there.
2) Find the right connection
If you forgot a memory, here’s how to recall it:
Relive it: Mentally go back to where you were when it happened. Try to retrace your steps. Who was there? Where were you?
The more connections you can piece together, the more you have to work with.
Memories love connecting to as many things as possible (places, emotions, people), so the more you uncover, the more you can use to piece together the puzzle.
Sometimes, you just need to remember 1 “thread” or 1 strong link for everything else to come flooding back in your mind.
Ask other people involved: Sometimes other people chiming in with their memory of an event will make you go “Oh yeah! I remember…and then this happened ____”
Incubate your mind: If you dwell on the memory (using the last 2 steps), you may not remember right away. That’s ok.
Dwell on it, then let your mind work. Go on a walk, take a nap, take a full night’s rest. Your subconscious mind will work on retrieving it. Many times the memory will come back to you after a mental break (sometimes right away, sometimes a day later).
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