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Mindfulness and memory

How often have you had trouble remembering something you think you should know?

Although repeated, increasingly frequent bouts of memory loss can be the sign of something serious, thankfully this outcome is rare. Far more often, memory ‘loss’ is not a loss at all! Instead, it is because we fail to pay attention to what we expect to remember, so the information is never ‘planted’ properly in our memory in the first place. We’re so busy planning, or worrying about the past, or trying (and failing) to multitask, that we often fail to pay proper attention to the very thing that we want to know.

Mindfulness is a wonderful treatment for many of the problems we attribute to poor memory. When we are mindful, we pay full attention to what is going on at that moment. We don’t miss details, nor do we colour our observations with criticism or comparison. We simply perceive–and as a result, encode what we perceive. The observation is registered as part of experience. It is something we can recall later, whenever we wish to do so.

This, then, is yet another reason to be mindful as often as possible.