The key to retaining your memory is learning to focus your attention according to Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry and aging and director of the UCLA Longevity Center.
"Part of it is inheritance, but a large part of it is what you want to remember. Our brains are actually pretty efficient and if we put our minds to it, we can improve almost any memory skill, especially remembering names and faces," Small told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"It's a matter of effort and learning some simple techniques … and the basic one is about focusing attention, learning to use mental imagery to remember better, and to link up those mental images."
Small, author of "The Memory Prescription: Dr. Gary Small's 14-Day Plan to Keep Your Brain and Body Young,"
calls his technique "look, snap, connect."
"Look – focus attention. Snap – create a mental snapshot. And connect – link up those mental snapshots so they have meaning. If something is meaningful, it's going to be memorable," he said.
"The challenge that many of us have is that we're distracted and we don't focus our attention and that's one of the reasons that as we get older it often seems that time goes by more quickly because we're not focusing our attention and we're not learning new things.
"But if we really focus our attention, our memory will improve quite a bit."
Small recommends that before leaving the house each morning, you should go over your calendar.
"Think through what you have going on that day so you don't forget to bring an important file or letter," he said.
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