Well what a relief – can I blame my forgetful moments on stress rather than stressing that age is messing with my brain? I was sure I was headed down the wrong lane with all my memory lapses but instead of age being the demon maybe I can blame it all on stress!
Oh! but what can I blame the stress on? – mmm not sure about that!
Oh well while I work out that conundrum, let me share with you what I’ve found out and you can check out your memory!
Have you done the Memory Stress test… Quite fun but with a serious side to it too have a go here:
Most of us are know that stress can increase the risk for certain disorders, like heart conditions, decreased immune function and psychological complaints. But now, a study suggests a link between high levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – and short-term memory loss in older individuals.
Short-term increases in the stress hormone are great and necessary for coping with life’s little challenges, however if the levels get too high especially if it lasts for a long period of time, then it can lead to unwelcome consequences including digestive problems, anxiety, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Dr. Jason Radley says “Stress hormones are one mechanism that we believe leads to ‘weathering’ of the brain, and although preliminary, the findings raise the possibility that short-memory decline in ageing adults may be slowed or prevented by treatments that decrease levels of cortisol in susceptible individuals,”
So here are a few cool ideas to help improve our memories.
- First we need to learn how to relax.
Not the napping kind of relaxing, but more the deep abdominal breathing kind of relaxing. And remember to concentrate on soothing words like “peace” and “calm,” and visualize restful scenes.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, in a study of 122 patients aged 55 and older who suffered from hypertension, that practising the techniques often lowered their blood pressure so much that they were able to get off medication.
- We need to drink more tea.
Tea apparently contains theanine, a chemical that has a calming effect.
- Of course exercise, take a walk every day.
Although any sort of physical activity will increase your body’s production of endorphins, that helps to reduce anxiety
- And finally; stop and smell the flowers. No really, smell the flowers!
In a study published in 2009, Japanese researchers found that the scent of lemon, mango, lavender, and other fragrant plants really does reduce stress levels.
Right then, I’ll see you for a walk in the garden and then we’ll go and have a nice cuppa tea!