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Stress and memory loss

January 21, 2015

Here’s an idea….
JW Wilson, the Executive Director of Advanced Learning Institute, says, “Over 125 studies of more than 36,000 individuals have shown conclusively that the more stress you are under, the lower your memory performance, no matter how it is measured.”

In other words…
Not all stress is bad, but too much stress or not processing it can have major health effects, including memory loss. If you notice that you are forgetting things more often, like taking books back to the library or picking up bread on the way home, stop and evaluate your stress levels. If you are forgetting higher level memories, like the way home from the store or the names of close friends and loved ones, you need to see your doctor.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
Take a few minutes to evaluate the stress in your life. When evaluating your stressors, you basically have two options: remove the stressor or change your reaction to the stressor.

Some stressors can be removed. If the new-found puppy is just too much for your family, find it a new home. If the kids’ activities are taking up all your time, limit the number of activities each child is involved in.

Some stressors cannot be removed. If you have a close family member that irritates, you cannot remove them from your life, but you can change the way you react to them. Your commute to work may cause you stress that cannot be simply removed, but you may be able to change your route to work or the time you leave for work. There are also things you can do to make your commute less stressful like listen to an audiobook or practice deep breathing exercises when you apply the brakes.

 To Find Out More…
For more information about personal well-being, check out our free programs: Your Blueprint for Happiness, Getting Our Hearts Right, or Managing Stress programs at uaex.edu/self, like us atfacebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Authentic Happiness.

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