Medical researches show that people who are always anxious produce “stress hormones” like cortisol, which damages brain cells. Make it a point to do something that will relax you everyday. Try meditating, yoga, drinking tea, taking a long bath … whatever works for you. A very effective method to reduce stress is deep breathing and visualizing the expected outcome of any situation to turn out well. Don’t forget to get enough rest.
Poor memory is often a result of poor self-image. After all, it all starts and ends in the mind. So to have a healthy mind, believe that you can achieve anything you desire. Boost your self-esteem and be confident in your abilities. Your attitude should be supportive of your goals.
Cardiovascular exercises like walking improves blood circulation and are good for the heart and brain. Research also indicates that walking helps release hormones that aid in regenerating new brain cells. If you’re bored with just plain walking, engage into sports that you love. Play basketball, volleyball, tennis, or anything that excites you. By exercising, you can lessen your chances of developing high blood pressure which contributes to memory loss when you get older. So get up and get moving. Not only will you be getting a fit and healthy body, but you’ll also sharpen your memory and improve your creativity. Not to mention the fun and camaraderie you’ll be getting with your teammates and competitors.
Just like any muscle, you also need to exercise your brain so that it doesn’t deteriorate. Engage in games that will help you think. Talk to people, read informational books, listen to educational tapes, and make it a habit to continuously learn and experience new things. Remember that when your neurons die, they don’t come back to life anymore. So you better use them, or you’ll lose them.
If you feel that your memory really isn’t how it used to be, go and see a physician. Sometimes, memory loss can be a symptom of more serious diseases and can go undetected for years because you don’t really feel anything else other than memory loss.
At the first signs of stress, the adrenaline kicks in, setting off a burst of activity in your nervous system. This is turn, speeds up your heart and changes the size of the blood vessels. Besides getting you ready for fight or flight, it also helps you to remember those frightening events of your life. Therefore, this adrenaline surge also helps to plant emotional memories of the event in your life.
After the surge of adrenaline, comes the second stage of the stress response. The adrenal cortex begins to pump out cortisol, hydrocortisone and corticosterone. These are called glucocorticoids or GCs. These GCs are helpful in dealing with emergencies. Besides boosting glucose production and constricting blood vessels, they also go straight up to the brain to help regulate stress signaling. It tells your brain whether to calm down or boost the stress level, depending on what’s best for you at the moment. These GCs can exert pressure on the temporal lobe to help you remember those emotional events.
Some stress is emergency induced and some is chronic. Chronic stress can be very dangerous to your brain, since it constantly sends GCs from the adrenal glands straight to the brain. That’s why stressed out brains are at risk for damage.
The glucocorticoids go straight to the brain, to the memory system, most especially the hippocampus. It tells your memories that the event has survival value to you and you need to remember it. Unfortunately, the GCs are not always beneficial. These hormones are very powerful and sometimes stress can raise the levels of these hormones beyond what the brain’s neurons can handle. This can result in damage to the parts of the brain that relate to memory
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