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ADHD and Forgetfulness: 5 Important Steps to Building a Better Memory

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ADHD and forgetfulness, does it ever seem like your life is filled with just those two things? Do you feel sometimes like you can never remember what you need to?

Forgetting things, even small things, can be frustrating, if not infuriating. Failing to remember small things can ruin your day or your week. Forgetting big things or important events can spoil relationships.

Many adults and children with ADHD struggle with forgetfulness as an ADHD symptom. Forgetfulness can appear as a part of inattentiveness or just not being able to keep thoughts together.

ADHD and forgetfulness don’t have to have the final say, though. In this post, we want to give you some tools to limit the impact of forgetfulness in your life.

1. Use Memory Exercises

A great strategy to tackle the effects of ADHD and forgetfulness can involve the use of memory exercises. Memory exercises help give your mind something to focus on. They also give you an anchor to base your memory recall in.

For instance, by drawing or creating a vivid picture of what you want to remember, you give your mind the drawing to anchor the memory in. This way, you aren’t simply trying to pick the memory out of nothing, but you can reflect on the drawing to bring you back to what you need to remember.

Such exercises can help you cope with forgetfulness and ADHD. Other memory exercises might include using mnemonic devices such as an acronym where the letters of a particular word represent different words to a phrase. You could even go so far as creating a song or story as a memory exercise.

Memory exercises can be fun distractions. They can also act as powerful tools in resolving ADHD and forgetfulness.

2. Let Others Know

Sometimes you might feel as though your ADHD and forgetfulness weighs you down like a burden. You might not want to share your forgetfulness with others because you don’t want to weigh them down as well.

In reality, though, through letting others know about your ADHD and forgetfulness you can have them help you remember important things. It’s ok to let others know you have issues sometimes with forgetfulness. Your coworkers, family, and friends will understand.

After all, we all have our own weaknesses. The problems can come, though, if you don’t let others know that you can’t remember sometimes. If others don’t know, they might jump to conclusions and assume you didn’t show up to an important event on purpose.

Let others know that you have issues with forgetfulness. Many of your friends and family want to help you with your ADHD but might not know how. Give them an opportunity.

Those close to you will be glad to remind you about important events. They will show you compassion and help you when you struggle to remember.

3. Make Use of Calendars and Reminders

Much of figuring out ADHD and forgetfulness depends on understanding how the ADHD brain works. In having ADHD, there exist many things that can just be difficult or challenging. To overcome these challenges, such as forgetfulness, you should try to make use of tools such as calendars or electronic reminders.

Printed or electronic calendars, possibly through your email provider, can be an excellent tool to act as a daily reminder of upcoming items. Email calendars with built in reminders can be particularly effective.

You should get in the habit of putting all meetings, events, and important dates in your calendar. Set a reminder on your cell phone or email so that you will be reminded regardless if you remember yourself or not.

Our modern world in which each of us has a computer near us or on us almost 24 hours a day provides many great tools in the form of phone and internet apps. Seek out and make use of helpful apps that can help you organize your mind and your life. Check out these 26 great apps for ADHD minds as one place to begin.

4. Accept Your Limitations

None of us can do everything. We all have our own limitations. For many people with ADHD, living with forgetfulness provides just one limitation. Instead of denying your limitations, you should embrace them.

To help overcome ADHD and forgetfulness, you need to first accept that you won’t ever have a perfect memory. You also need to accept that it’s ok to forget sometimes.

We all need more positives in our daily life. By accepting your limitations you can help raise your self-esteem each day, which in turn reduces stress and improves health and wellbeing. The opposite of accepting limitations, on the other hand, results in constant worrying.

By constantly worrying about what you may have forgotten you just put your mind and body under stress. Stress creates many more problems than just forgetfulness, which leads us to our last point . . .

5. Don’t Stress

Stress creates unnecessary complications and distractions. As if you didn’t have enough already. Additionally, stress can make ADHD and forgetfulness worse.

Studies show that chronic stress can hurt your memory. Both stress and memory are mental processes so it makes sense that stress would have some kind of impact on memory.

To improve both your memory and wellbeing find ways to de-stress your day. If you start feeling overwhelmed be sure to build in breaks to get away and reset. Work on learning ways to manage ADHD stress to worry less and find more peace throughout your day.

With less stress on your mind, you can focus more on what happens around you. Less stress frees your mind, which can help you organize your thoughts and limit distractions. Over time, less stress might help build memory tools to help you better tackle forgetfulness as well.

Build an Inventory of Tools to Tackle ADHD and Forgetfulness

ADHD and forgetfulness don’t have to get you down. Sure, you have trouble remembering seemingly simple things sometimes on a daily basis. This doesn’t have to define who you are as a person, though.

You should know that you exist as more than your shortcomings. We all have our own limitations. Accept that you can forget things and often. After you accept this, work on using the tools and tips presented here to start building your inventory of memory tools today.