All of us may experience difficulty in finding words and remembering names every now and then, especially when we continue to age. Slower mental processing is not uncommon as aging continues to take its toll on the mind and memory.
Difficulty in finding words and remembering names is evidenced in word-finding; specifically, in the interchanging of words and names, or verbalizing the interfering word instead of the intended word or name. These slips of the tongue or temporary memory lapses are examples of difficulty in finding words and remembering names. They may be embarrassing, and even stressful. The good news is that there are strategies for difficulty with words and names.
The strategies to overcome difficulty with words are as follows:
1. Slow down your speech. If need be, pause to screen out the interfering word. For example, you want to say "Clint Eastwood" but the interfering word may be "Cliff"; so take a pause when you come to the word, phrase, or name you are about to say to give yourself time to prevent verbalizing the interfering word or saying the interchanging word.
2. Listen to yourself (often times we are not paying attention to what we are saying) in order to identify the words, phrases, or names you may have difficulty in saying, and correct them instantly.
3. There is nothing wrong with self-correcting. Just continue to talk to maintain the flow of conversation.
4. Avoid behaviors that indicate your frustration, such as saying "Oops!" or snapping your fingers. Such behaviors will only draw attention to your problems in word finding, and aggravate your difficulty with words.
5. Think ahead to identify the words or names you may have difficulty retrieving. For example, when you are going to give a speech or to go to a social funtion, identify in advance a potentially elusive word, and find a synonym for it; try to remember the word through association so that you will avoid future word-finding problem.
Difficult with words and names can be overcome with the right strategies, although a little effort is required.
Your brain is still amazing despite the occasional setbacks in retrieving information and word-finding.
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau