START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Brain Training Tips From a Memory Champion

Training tips from a memory champ

Your day-to-day life may not require you to memorize long strings of numbers, or the precise order of a deck of 52 cards.
But, here’s an easy way to incorporate one of Dellis’ go-to memory training techniques—called the “loci method”—into your everyday routine:

  • First, think about your grocery list for the coming week. It may help to write it down and try to make each item as simple as possible (i.e. mozzarella cheese as opposed to Sargento brand, 2% milk mozzarella cheese). Let’s say your list has ten different things on it: grapes, bread, mint frozen yogurt, laundry detergent, dog food, bananas, milk, toilet paper, ground turkey and a gossip magazine.
  • Once you have your list finalized, sit down and close your eyes. In your mind picture a place you’re very familiar with. Dellis suggests using your house.
  • Picture yourself going about your regular routine—getting out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, waking up your kids, going downstairs to make breakfast, etc.
  • Next, begin adding in the items on your grocery list into your mental montage. The key part of this step is to add the items in a crazy, emotionally-charged (in other words, memorable) way.

For example, imagine that when you get out of bed in the morning, your floor is covered in grapes. Whenever you step on them, the grapes squeal in protest. With your feet covered in sticky grape jam (what an annoying way to start the day), you stalk to the bathroom and furiously wipe them on your bath mat, which, as it turns out, is made entirely of bread. You grab your toothbrush and scoop some mint-flavored frozen yogurt onto it and begin to brush your teeth. After polishing your pearly whites, you walk into the hallway, where the dirty clothes in the hamper start pestering you about switching laundry detergents. The last few washes have been very unpleasant for them. And so on.

By populating a familiar setting (your house) with outlandish, emotion-driven objects and occurrences, you’ll be able to more easily remember everything you need at the store, no list required.

The Unexpected Secret to Successful Aging
10 Things That Make You Feel Old–And What to Do About Them
6 Fun Activities That Count As Exercise

Read more: Aging, Alzheimer's, Celebrities, Fitness, General Health, Health, Healthy Aging, Inspiration, Life, , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.


+ add your own
3:33AM PST on Jan 27, 2014


10:08PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Thank you for the tips. I'll give them a try.

3:34AM PST on Jan 18, 2014

""According to board-certified neurologist, Daid Perlmutter, M.D., a person can keep their brain fit by consistently challenging it with a combination of healthy social interactions, aerobic exercise and mental drills. “Unlike other body systems, the brain retains a remarkable ability to regenerate itself, lifelong,” he says."""

Fine, now I know how to fill my days :)
Still mountain climbing professors also develops dementia and Alzheimer's.
But I am sure these are good advice.
One question remains :
How can I tell the difference between heathy and unhealthy social interaction? Is it social interaction that makes me feel good, challenge me,or what ?

7:52PM PST on Jan 16, 2014

Memorizing a deck of cards - not a skill I'm ever going to waste my time developing.

7:35AM PDT on Jul 7, 2013


8:27AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

signed petition,thanks.

8:27AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

thank you.

8:14AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

The biggest thing I suggest is doing something different or new each day/week. So many get trapped in a rut and their brain atrophies. They go on autopilot.

8:21PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

thnx for this

8:31AM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Great article!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you for sharing.

I don't eat pizza or kale.Why the fascination with kale on Care2 ?

No,, I prefer to be sickly and miserable... Duh.... ?

such joy of living lovely thank you

Thank you! Will do!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!