Problem: A word, a movie or book title, or a long-lost friend’s name is on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t come up with it. "This is a universal problem, and it happens more as we age," Edgerly says. It also becomes harder to recall basic information when you feel stressed or are holding too many thoughts in your head at once.
Solution: First, cut yourself some slack―it happens to everyone. Then take a deep breath to clear your head. “An enemy of memory is multitasking,” says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging, who is also the author of The Memory Prescription. Then say aloud what you think the name of the book or movie might be: “It’s something like water” or “It begins with an S.” Naming the actors in the movie or the characters in the book may also help jog your memory. If you’re still stuck, then “substitute a word that will fit for the time being,” Edgerly says, “and chances are the actual word will surface later.”