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Who Else Wants To Get Rid Of Stress-Induced Memory Loss Forever?
Have you felt stressed out lately?
I’ll bet you have.
Stress sucks, and worse than being a drag, it’s a memory killer too.
But not always.
On occasion, stress can make certain things memorable. Car accidents, terrorist attacks and riots can make many things impossible to forget. Such events can can even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Usually, though, stress punishes our bodies and minds without the need of catastrophe. Work, relationship problems and health can all create stress.
How Safe Are Your Goals And Dreams From The Destructive Powers Of Everyday Stress?
Stress gets in the way of goals and dreams. Important professional missions like:
But stress distracts from these activities. Stress makes paying attention difficult and learning new information becomes almost impossible.
If anything, all you learn is how to be more stressed out.
How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Dementia or Alzheimer’s
So we’ve established that stress can create memory loss by making it impossible to pay attention. In other words, you’ve lost what you wanted to remember because you couldn’t pay attention to it in the first place.
But isn’t it strange that memory loss is one of the symptoms of stress that far too many don’t know about?
How about these symptoms that also seem to have fallen off the radar:
Worse, you might experience pain, insomnia, develop heart disease, and elevated blood pressure.
Even just one of these can lead to diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
8 Signs That You’re WAY Too Stressed
So how do you know if you’re stressed?
Chances are you already know when you’re stressed. You don’t need a checklist.
But just in case, here are some of the symptoms so you can see how to improve memory and concentration power starting today.
Loss of appetite
More than just losing the desire to eat, stress can make it impossible to eat. Swallowing even a mouthful can become difficult.
On the other hand, stress can make you eat too much. Some people use food as a coping mechanism, something that places even more stress on your system. The heavier you are, the harder your bones and organs have to work. Plus, not feeling positive about how you look is psychologically draining.
Headaches and Backaches
Think that pain in your head or at the base of your spine is just part of life?
Maybe, but it could also be the symptom of stress.
Having a hard time making decisions? It’s not necessarily just part of your personality. People who can’t define a clear path and follow it could be experiencing stress.
It’s little wonder that stress makes it hard to see the cup half full. If you’re doubtful that your current situation will ever improve, it’s not necessarily depression. Stress could be at the core of your dark thinking.
Obsessing Over the Nuts and Bolts of Life
It’s good to pay attention to detail. But it can also be a symptom of stress. If your perfectionism is getting in the way of your ability to contribute to your family and society at large, you might want to check in with your stress meter.
Impatience and Irritability
Have you flipped out and chewed someone’s head off lately? Such bursts of irritation rarely come from nowhere, so be sure that you aren’t acting out based on stress. You probably have other solutions.
Are your shoulders all bunched up? Do you have pain in your neck? Do you slouch when you walk?
If so, you’re probably holding stress in your body.
And along with muscle tension comes shortness of breath, cramps and even nervous twitching. Even your eyebrows can show signs of muscle tension. Having your face twisted and scrunched up can lead to others thinking that you’re grumpy or angry, stressing you out even further.
5 Simple Ways To Reduce Stress From Your Life AndImprove Your Memory
The good news is that solutions exist for each of these stress symptoms. Let’s look at some of them.
1. The first step is to learn the signs of stress and look for them in your life.
2. Next, train yourself to tune into your emotional state. You can best accomplish this awareness through meditation and journaling.
3. Seek out an accountability partner. An accountability is someone you contact daily or nearly every day to talk about your commitments, proclaim victory when you’ve accomplished something and admit your guilt when you’ve fallen short.
At first, accountability might sound more stress inducing, but it isn’t. Your accountability partner will encourage you and act as a kind of coach. They’ll notice when you’re pushing too hard, criticizing yourself too much, need to take a break and help you recognize just how well you’re doing. You simply cannot have a bad day when you’re being held accountable and committed to holding your partner accountable too.
The Truth Really Will Set Your Free!
It’s also freeing to be able to say that you haven’t completed something. It’s off your chest and you’ll hear similar stories from your partner. In other words, you both grow stronger because you report on your efforts to succeed, and together the successes grow while the failures diminish.
Plus, you help each other see that you’re never failing at all. Every action and every lack of action that you’ve observed and labeled (which is itself a form of taking action) lays another brick along the wall of your accomplishment.
I interact with my accountability partner by email because we’re thousands of miles apart. But you might be able to meet with yours in person a few times a week.
And meeting with people is another way of alleviating stress. These people need to be positive, fun and bring different ideas and perspectives into your life.
Such interactions sharpen your brain, help eliminate stress and create future-minded thinking. Whenever you learn new things, you create a new future that was not possible before. And the more positive the people you hang out with, the more positive a future you can create.
The Zen of Giving Up Freaking Out (Over Nothing)
4. Practice breathing and meditate. I’ve talked with you before about pendulum breathing, reverse psychic nostril breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
You can practice better breathing while meditating. Meditation is a powerful activity because it improves neural connections, preventing the degeneration of your neurons and protects your hippocampus. Some scientists believe that the hippocampus is a kind of memory central command centre, but even if not, it’s worth protecting this part of your brain in addition to all the rest.
And meditation is easy to do. You don’t need anything fancy. Just your body and a floor to sit on.
Contrary to popular belief, you also don’t need to try and control your thoughts. As Alan Watts once pointed out, sitting without thoughts amounts to being a stone. Wouldn’t you agree that turning yourself into a mindless stone is a useless goal?
Instead, focus on using the breathing and muscle relaxation exercises to become aware of your body and the flow of your thoughts.
Don’t try to control your thoughts. As William S. Burroughs once said, “control seeks to control control,” which means that you only give your thoughts more power by trying to force them into shape.
You’ll get more from your meditation practice by simply breathing. The distance this creates between your physical awareness and your thoughts will let you realize that the flow of ideas differs little from the beating of your heart. It just happens.
How To Use The Immutable Power Of The Memory Palace For Reducing Stress
5. Chill out.Just as you can influence the speed of your heart with exercise, you can exercise the speed of your thoughts. For this reason, I recommend that you wander your favorite Memory Palace as you meditate and improve concentration Buddha-style.
You needn’t practice recall during these sessions though you certainly can. The point is to simply give your thoughts a point of focus. In this case that point of focus is a mentally constructed journey through a familiar location.
And if your mind wanders to some other line of thinking, no worries. Let it go and soon you’ll become aware of the fact that you’re sitting on the floor and realize that you’ve been lost in thought.
These moments of realization will amaze you with their power. Soon you will find similar moments taking place throughout the day.
How To Make The Most Frustrating Taxi Ride In The World A Path To Stress-Free Enlightenment
For example, I was sitting in a taxi earlier today and found myself irritated with the traffic. On top of that, it was irritating that the current transit strike had forced me to get into a taxi in the first place. Stress ha started building within me.
But then suddenly a moment of awareness washed over me. I realized that I am nothing more than a body – an animated object sitting inside of another moving object commanded by another being. Looking out the window, I saw only other objects moving through space at various rates of speed. In some cases, they weren’t moving at all.
There was no point in forming an opinion about these objects. No amount of thought or stress could change the situation. Frustration could only make it worse. As the moment of realization grew in strength and duration, my stress and irritation dissipated.
And I’m confident that you’ll experience the same reductions in stress and useless anger when you make meditation a part of your life too.
How To Walk, Talk And Eliminate
The Stress Of Multi-tasking
To sweeten the deal, add exercise to your life. It can be simple stretching every morning or daily pushups or elaborate sports like martial arts.
They say that walking with a friend a few times a week is one of the healthiest things you can do, especially if you make sure to walk rigorously enough to make talking difficult and do it long enough to break a sweat.
You can also reduce stress by eliminating multi-tasking. You’ll make fewer errors by focusing on one task at a time. And focusing on one thing instead of many will help stabilize your mood and improves your memory because you pay more attention to that singular activity.
Completing one task at a time also promotes organization. Being organized reduces stress, and if you throw removing clutter into the mix, stress goes down even further. You should check out my friend The Declutter Lady for more help with that.
And there’s so much more you can do:
- Laugh often
- Practice forgiveness
- Ask for help when you need it instead of struggling on your own
- Talk positively to yourself.
If all of this sounds complex, here’s the reality:
If you can meditate just five minutes a day, stretch for just five minutes a day and walk for about twenty minutes a day three or four times a week, you’re looking at next to nothing in terms of time commitment. You need only build consistency with these activities and you’ll make a huge impact on the quality of your life.
You’ll reduce stress, create a better future and a better memory. And when you can create a better memory, you can learn more. And the more you learn, the more you can learn. Due to the associative way that memory techniques work, the more you memorize, the more you can learn and thereby the more you can memorize.
It’s a perfect circle.
All you have to do is begin anywhere to enter the dance. And the dance is so easy, so elegant, so effective and so much fun.
So pick just one stress-relieving activity from this list and just do it. Then add another, and another and another. Until you’re satisfied that you couldn’t be freer from stress if you tried.
And memorize information as you go along.
Track the results.
You’ll be amazed by how your memory improves.
And I hope you’ll get in touch and let everyone in the Magnetic Memory Method know all about it.
17 Student Fails (And What To Do Instead)
Last modified: September 4, 2018
About the Author / Anthony Metivier
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