I’ve never had a very good memory. Names and faces slip into obscurity within minutes. Voices last longer, and aromas seem to last forever in the annals of stored experience.

What makes one type of thought stick, while others seem to vaporize even as we think them, is beyond me. What I would like to share, however, is a recent discovery of mine that seems to help in the battle against short term memory loss.

A significant brain injury in my 20s and getting older now work together to make remembering names, faces, and small tasks an uphill battle. As I was trying, for the umpteenth time, to force myself to remember a trivial task, a phrase popped into my head: hold that thought.

I wish I could!

But the thought persisted, so I pondered it awhile. What does it mean to “hold” a thought? It’s not as though we put it into our palm, closing protective fingers around our valuable cargo.

Or does it?

What if I mentally place a word or idea that I want to keep into my imaginary hand? Will it help?

I had to try. I had my husband try. I asked a couple of friends to try.

Guess what?

The words and ideas stuck! They were accessible even before the first cup of coffee the next day!

So, give it a try and let me know how it works for you. Next time you meet someone, imagine taking the letters of their name and holding the letters in your hand. Can you recall their name when you need or want to?

[Just be sure you don’t tighten your real fist, or your new acquaintance may think they are about to be pummeled!]