Megan Johnson McCullough –Every day presents us with a multitude of tests for our memory, and sometimes we don’t always remember each and ever item. Forgetting something here and there is common, but when the lack of remembering persists, being forgetful becomes problematic. When there are dates, events, and tasks that were urgent, time sensitive, or required, even these items that should take priority can be left in the dust. These memory slips become frustrating, can make you upset, and cause also cause you to question your mental health. However, you can take some matters into your own hands to help reduce the risk of forgetting.
Here are some considerations:
1. Medications: Certain medications can affect your memory. Typically confusion can result from the sedation affect of these medications. High blood pressure and antidepressants are common culprits. It can become difficult to pay attention to things, so speaking with your doctor if you feel the dosage or use of the medication might be making your brain foggy would be recommended.
2. Lack of sleep: Not getting enough sleep is a major culprit of memory lapses. When your mind is truly not awake, you can’t expect to recall everything you need to. Losing track of time, dozing off, or just feeling lost in day dreaming can result in forgetfulness. Be sure to get the rest you need which is often times easier said that done when the demands of life can cut your seep time short, but do your best to get quality rest when quantity is compromised.
3. Depression: Forgetfulness can be the result of feeling depressed due to lethargy, lack of motivation, and sadness. When something else is bothering you, being in the present alert and attentive can be difficult.
4. Alcohol: Drinking these beverages typically impact short term memory. The brain is impaired during drinking, but even after memory can be negatively affected.
5. Stress and anxiety: When you feel pulled in different directions or on edge with thoughts that are worrying your or pressuring you, your mind is filled with too many different thoughts. You are basically distracted and as a result don’t remember little things here and there.
We can relate to many of the following occasions when we have forgotten something:
1. Misplacing your car keys.
2. Not knowing what day it is (usually the actual date).
3. Making a wrong turn or getting off on the wrong exit.
4. Meeting someone and not remembering their name.
5. Not paying a bill on date is was due.
There are natural ways to improve your memory. Certain lifestyle changes can contribute to less forgetting. As previously mentioned, getting enough sleep is a good place to start. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating less foods with added sugar, eating less simple carbohydrates, and avoiding sugary beverages can help. Eliminating that sugar high and crash can help keep your brain focused. This also includes drinking less alcohol. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to early onset dementia so making sure these levels are adequate is important A little more sunshine might help as well as consuming foods with vitamin D such as omega 3 filled fish such as salmon, egg yolks, and red meat a couple of times per week. Training your brain can help too such as practicing mindfulness during meditation. The less stress the better.