Instead of panicking that you’re suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s every time you blank on someone’s name, can’t remember your email password, or figure out where you put your wallet, you might want to take a deep breath and close your eyes.
Seriously: According to a study from the University of Surrey (via the Daily Mail), shutting your eyes and taking a beat instead of maniacally racking your brain could be the key to recalling things you’ve forgotten.
In the experiment, two groups of people were shown a series of short films, and afterwards had to answer questions about what they’d seen. Half of the participants responded with their eyes closed and answered 71% of the questions correctly, while the other half answered with open eyes and had a 48% success rate.
As to why shutting your eyes might help you remember? Researchers chalk it up to the very logical idea that blocking out the outside world—even momentarily—can free up necessary brainpower, boosting recall.