Stress and Forgetfulness: A Chemical Relationship

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car_keys_with_keychain_optIt's always when you're late for a meeting that you forget where you put an important document, or when you're rushing the kids off for school that you can't find the car keys. A recent CNN article explored a study, finding a relationship between chronic stress and spatial memory. The stress hormone cortisol is also linked to short-term memory loss in older adults. Researchers are finding information that validates all of our experiences; when we're stressed, we forget things.

In this way, stress in our lives can create more stress on its own, just by the way it causes our brains to behave!

The good news is that stress is manageable, and that the mind is resilient. By making some healthy lifestyle changes and practicing short-term stress management, you can control your stress. Examples of healthy choices you can make follow.

  • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet (for most of us, that means more whole foods and fewer processed foods).
  • Exercise regularly - even 30 minutes a day makes a big difference for most.
  • Get enough sleep to feel rested: for most, that's between 6 and 9 hours.
  • Practice deep breathing, yoga, or prayer/meditation.
  • Know when it's more than stress - if it's a chronic problem and is beginning to affect daily life, it may be time for an evaluation by a medical provider.

Life can get busy and overwhelming, but taking a moment to yourself and having quiet time will reduce stress in the short tern, and encourage a healthy brain in the long term.

To learn more about managing stress in your life, check out our free Coping with Stress Webinar.
To evaluate your own mental health, check out our Depression and Bipolar Test.

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