Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
Wednesday, June 5, 2002


Have 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 released.

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?

Daily Success Formula

Exercise + Eating right + Enough Sleep + Life Long Learning = Healthy Memory


"A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial." Clifton Fadiman

"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." Ingrid Bergman

Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee


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