For weeks you’ve been cramming for this exam and you got up early this morning to make sure that you had remembered everything. A lot hangs on this test – your promotion, for one. You can feel the tension rising but say to yourself, “It’s just exam nerves – it’s good stress”, right? Then, when you look at the first question one that you’ve been expecting, your brain goes blank, the words don’t make sense, and you can’t remember a single fact to write down.
You want to get up and run right out of the exam room. When this happens, you are experiencing the “fight or flight response” that every human being has in cases of impending danger.
‘Fight or flight’ is an innate response and it’s a great instinct in its right place. When Fight or Flight kicks in, though, the brain slows down so that it can concentrate on protecting you. If you try to remember something when Fight or Flight is operating, you’ll forget – that’s why stress can cause memory loss.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing – we can all do with energy surges now and then.
In Fight or Flight, for instance, your body automatically starts a chain of reactions. Stress hormones such as cortisol, secreted by the brain, provide energy to our limbs so that we can run away immediately. At the same time, though, the hippocampus is robbed of its energy; if this goes on for a long time, then there are chances of short-term memory loss, because the hippocampus is vital in processing memory.
Warning: Repeated exposure to stress of the hippocampus can cause long-term damage and more permanent memory loss. So, it is important to get stress under control.
Can continuous stress cause memory loss? Yes, it can.
If you are forgetting more often, panicking about deadlines and too many unfinished tasks, then you must do something about it today. Stress can become a chronic ailment and you will suffer memory loss.
So, what can you do to contain stress?
1. Monitor how your body and brain are being affected by stress every day. It is important that you take this seriously in order to avoid irreparable damage. Make a note of times you feel particularly pushed; jot down how you are feeling and what you are doing. What are you eating? What are you drinking?
2. Make a list of tasks to be done and create a time-line. If you know that some deadlines you have agreed to cannot be done in the time, contact the recipient now and renegotiate. Take control, relieve the pressure and begin working in a planned, sensible way.
3. Organize your life so that you can work under normal conditions without undue stress. Enjoy your tasks and regain your life.
4. Be in control of the way you eat, exercise, plan and respond – think about your reactions consciously until you feel you life is back on track.
Stress related memory loss diseases include Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other related illnesses that can cause brain trauma. So take action NOW.
A risk-free way of making a start is to sign up for your free three-part course of Brain Tune™.
- It takes no more than a few minutes a day.
- It’s based on science and research.
- It’s easy to do.
- And it’s been shown to make a difference.
In fact, it’s so good, the University of Auckland are using a similar product in their PhD research project involving people just like you.
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