Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
Wednesday, June 5, 2002
You Lost Your Mind or just Your Keys?
Have you ever stood in the middle of your living room wondering
where in the world you put your keys, your shoes, or some
other object? Forgetfulness is a combination of many things
and, yes, age does contribute to it, so does overwork, stress
and fatigue. If you find yourself forgetting, it might be
a sign to slow down.
Stress is a major contributor to temporary memory loss.
When we are stressed out, our brain releases a stream of
hormones such as cortisol. These hormones strike the portion
of the brain that is crucial to memory and cognitive functions.
The brain simply can't handle the over stimulus and goes
into overload temporarily forgetting. Memory loss caused
by stress is temporary and is restored once the stress is
Multitasking, a favorite past time of many of us, is another
cause of temporary memory loss. Our brains simply cannot
store data that we never really paid attention to in the
first place. Unlike a computer, our brains are built to
do one thing at a time. When we try to act more like a computer
than a human, our brains rebel and forget.
There are things that we can do to keep our memories sharp.
Daily physical exercise, mental exercises (such as learning
new things), getting enough sleep and eating right can enhance
the production of neurotropins, the transmitters that enhance
nerve connections in the brain.
You are not losing your mind. You are simply overstressed.
Life demands a lot from us everyday and it takes its toll.
We can fight back by practicing extreme self-care. All the
things we need to do for a healthy memory are also the same
things we need to do for a healthy life.
Stop trying to remember everything. The best cure for a
bad memory is pencil and paper. When in doubt, write it
out. I once read a story about Albert Einstein that reported
that he never memorized his home telephone number. When
someone would ask for the number, he would go to the telephone
book and look it up. When asked why he simply did not memorize
the number, he replied that he did not want to clutter his
mind with trivial data.
Stop trying to cram your brain with trivial data. Make
a list, keep notes, and forget what is not important. Save
your brainpower for what is most important to you.
What can you do today to improve your memory?
Exercise + Eating right
+ Enough Sleep + Life Long Learning = Healthy Memory
"A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial."
"A good storyteller is a person with a good memory
and hopes other people haven't." Irvin S. Cobb
"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."