A few years ago, I waited until my doctor was done with my exam, then I finally popped the question. I’m having some issues with memory and am a little concerned about Alzheimer’s. He laughed and said, “I’ve been talking to you for 20 minutes and absolutely no indication of dementia or Alzheimer’s entered my mind (no pun intended on that one)."
I explained that I would walk into a room and wonder after I got there why I was there. I wasted countless minutes trying to find my reading glasses (since then I actually bought 15 of them to put around my house). I drive away wondering if I shut the stove or iron off. If I’m on hold and start typing an email and then the person says “Hello,” I don’t know whom I called. Or the clincher is when (only a few times) I’ve walked to my front door to unlock it but it won’t unlock because I’ve used my car remote trying to unlock the door.
He told me about the time he was on call, jumped into his car, opened the garage door and backed out at a pretty high speed, forgetting his son came to visit and his new car was parked in the drive way. He explained that stress affects our memory, and that stress probably was the reason for my memory lapses.
Over the last few years I’ve done extensive research on the subject of stress. One of the most interesting studies showed that when we’re under extreme stress, 70% of our non-dominant brain shuts down, diminishing our senses and our ability to retain or remember information.
Stress does a number on our brain! So this week, use your brain, and rethink your upcoming week as to how you can reduce stress in your life. Sometimes if we just take a few moments to think about it, we can make some drastic yet simple changes to help reduce stress on a day-to-day basis. For example, a moment of quiet list-making in the morning can start our day off right. Now where did I put that pen?