It is a truth universally acknowledged that memory and the brain are two of our most fascinating faculties. Besides storing information, reasoning, understanding, and of course learning, it is everything here! You’ve probably noticed that its performance does not always remain constant, that it can shift from one time of day to the next, or from one situation to the next.
There are certain factors that can interfere with the proper functioning of this highly complex brain function. Here are some surprising things that can negatively impact your memory and your brain.
What Affect Brain Function And Memory?
- Stress and anxiety: Every individual experiences some level of anxiety and stress. It is important that you manage your feelings effectively in order to maintain your health and well-being. Memory loss and forgetfulness can result from stress and anxiety if left untreated. Even though life can be overwhelming at times, if you take the time to recharge your batteries, chances are your memory will return.
- Lack of sleep: An important cause of memory loss and affects your brain is insufficient sleep. It is recommended that you sleep six to eight hours a night in order to have a healthy memory. By regularly following a schedule like going to bed at the same time every night and rising at the same time every morning, you will also be less likely to misplace things.
- Over-generalized fear: An over-generalized memory of a frightening situation can sometimes trigger even more fear. Exactly how? The amygdala can fire more when it hears or sees the fear-inducing situation, or if the memory of this situation is abstract or even fuzzy. A vicious cycle is created when people use this fear pathway more and more, which makes it easier to trigger.
The brain, however, is dynamic and changes all the time. The kind of memories we store remains flexible as we experience new things and changes in our mental states. This sort of vicious cycle can be hindered by therapies and medications; it’s also important to keep a positive attitude.
- Thyroid problems: In addition to controlling your metabolism, the thyroid gland affects your memory as well. Having hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) will cause you to become more fatigued. Sluggishness and forgetfulness are common symptoms of this condition. In patients with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), their bodies run faster. Feeling disorganized and confused can result from this. You can find out if you have thyroid problems with a simple blood test.
- Alcohol abuse: When too much alcohol is consumed, even after its effects have worn off, short-term memory can be adversely affected. If you’re a woman, we recommend keeping your drinking to a maximum of one drink per day for women, and two drinks for men. The standard serving size for drinks is 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirit, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: Memory loss and forgetfulness can be averted with adequate amounts of vitamin B12. Low-fat dairy products, eggs, meat and poultry, and seafood are good sources of vitamin B12. Getting adequate amounts of vitamins can be difficult as your body’s absorption of nutrients slows down with age. Vitamin B12 injections can help you stay healthy if you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.
- The power of suggestion: Some memories are triggered by sensory associations, while others are changed by suggestions. It is possible to color memory with misconceptions, assumptions, and preconceptions.
Test participants who were incapable of recalling an event from their childhood were found to remember it in great detail when they were told (lieutenant, part of the experiment) that the event actually took place. Researchers in another study observed that 20% of test participants who could not recall a false childhood event the following week remembered it very well.
- Medication: You may notice that many medications, especially prescriptions and over-the-counter alternatives, cause confusion or drowsiness that may negatively impact your memory. You may have a hard time concentrating on new information. There are several medications that can impair your memory and brain function, including antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and painkillers. You should seek medical advice if you think a medication may be impairing your memory.
- Emotional content: When events are emotionally charged, we tend to remember them better. Women are particularly vulnerable to violence. An experience’s importance does not help memory but the emotion that has been evoked.
When we have a strong emotional reaction, we tend to forget more about what precedes and what we experienced simultaneously. Because of this, it may be difficult to recall the events that led up to traumatic experiences. Our memories are generally better when we encounter pleasant events. Although the memories of depressed individuals seem to be mixed, they seem to recall both pleasant and unpleasant events equally well.
- Depression: There are different ways to deal with depression depending on the individual. Although you can keep organized, be able to concentrate, and make decisions while distracted, it may affect your mental health. The treatment of depression can greatly improve your memory, which can be improved through seeking professional help.