Improve your Memory: Decrease Stress

Do you feel like that might be easier said than done? A little stress is not a bad thing, but that unrelenting stress can take its toll on you emotionally and physically. Did you know that is it is also a frequent complaint of caregivers? It is also a major contributor to the memory complaints of both young and old.

How good are you at handling your stress? Sometimes it can build gradually and other times it hits you in the midst of a pretty normal time when things seem to be running smoothly. Recently I had a situation that came out of nowhere and I was enjoying some tranquility and catch-up time. A few days later when things had settled down, I noticed how I temporarily lost some of  my  ability to focus on a new project, organizing details was impacted and some things I had planned to do just did not get done. Typically things like that happen and more often than not, you probably are not taking care of yourself like you should when it is most needed.  Sleep may be disturbed and your eating habits might get off track. Perhaps that exercise program you do daily gets skipped.

A couple of things that can help to reduce those stress hormones include humor, exercise and some type of meditative activity.  Anything that slows down the chatter in your head about what is going on is a form of meditation. Fortunately a television program I enjoy that makes me smile was on during that time period and I actually watched both nights without multitasking. Just needed to relax  for awhile and it helped my sleep for sure.

Come up with a plan of possible destressors that you can consider  when something comes up that has the potential to throw you off track. Make a habit each day to check in with yourself and notice if you need to take a few minutes to eat a healthy snack, drink a glass of water to stay hydrated,  take a short walk ro read something uplifting.  Doing something a few times a day to rebalance your life even it only for a moment is a good habit to develop under any circumstances.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James

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About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters ( and Communication Connection( She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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