Recently a patient of mine shared his frustration with his memory problems and I noticed he would always put himself down with a variety of negative words. One of the things I shared with him was the impact of stress on a person’s ability to recall information, especially the name of a particular person, place or thing.
Our sessions focused eliminating the negative words he used about his state of mind first. And once he had a better understanding of how an attitude shift could be his friend, he was more open to use some other strategies. The downside of where he had been was that he found himself actually withdrawing from social events, afraid he might embarrass himself. He needed to try to give the listener some hints rather than to think that success only meant getting that specific word and nothing else. After several sessions of coming up with descriptions for words that were harder to recall, he began to try to do this on his own with less prompting. His family was supportive and would remind him when he reverted to some old patterns.
Are you willing to look at other ways to approach a situation? By not staying stuck in a pattern and being open to some suggestions, a person taps into that cup is half full mindset.
During a difficult time many years ago, I did not like how I felt facing the day ahead so I started a gratitude journal. Each morning I wrote 3 things I was grateful for from the day before, often the little things we tend to take for granted. Several months later I realized, although the situation was still there, I woke up on the right side of the bed again
In the 7 day memory fitness program, Monday is the day to focus on attitude. Start your day on a positive note. When something happens that annoys you or does not go right early in the day, don’t keep telling your stories. I found myself doing that one day when it seemed the computer, the traffic and a person’s unkind words were dictating my mood. I started to talk about it then stopped in the middle of my sentence. I did not want to attract anything else negative so I moved on and got my mind back in the present moment and creating better options for the remainder of the day.
“Life is the sum of what you focus on.” Winifred Gallagher