Short-term memory loss can be a serious issue, and it’s not always easy to determine the exact cause. For survivors of narcissistic abuse, it can be a result of C-PTSD, but in any case, it’s really difficult to deal with.
Although several medical conditions can affect memory, there are other things that also influence the brain. Lifestyle choices can have a big impact on short-term memory loss.
Consider these common causes of short-term memory loss:
1. Anxiety and stress. When you’re worried all of the time, it’s harder to remember things. Both anxiety and stress can adversely affect your short-term memory.
- ○ Research studies show that stress can increase cortisol levels in the body, and this can affect brain function, including memory.
- ○ When you’re focused on things that cause you stress or anxiety, it’s more difficult to remember important tasks, names, or events. Your mind isn’t designed for multi-tasking, so these things can affect your memory.
- ○ Exercise and relaxation techniques help reduce stress and anxiety. Try meditation, yoga, going for a walk in natural surroundings, or participating in sports on a regular basis.
2. Not sleeping enough. Sleep is a vital component of brain function. The lack of sleep can have serious consequences for the body and mind.
- ○ When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s harder to remember things or pay attention during the day. In addition, your cells can’t restore themselves and heal. This affects your brain and other parts of the body.
- ○ Experts recommend getting at least seven or more hours of sleep per night.
3. Poor diet that lacks essential vitamins and minerals. Your brain needs food just like your body. A poor diet can affect your short-term memory. If you’re not eating enough or only eating junk food, your short-term memory suffers.
- ○ Researchers have found that vitamin B6 and others are important for the brain.
- ○ A high-fat diet with fast food, chips, and fried food can hurt the brain.
- ○ Switching to a nutrient-rich diet with whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can help turn diet-induced memory loss around.
4. Smoking and alcohol. Even a small amount of nicotine can affect the brain and body. Research shows that smoking can affect brain cells. Cigarettes and cigars affect the lungs and heart, so less oxygen gets to the brain.
- ○ Alcohol can also affect short-term memory and judgment.
- ○ Try to avoid smoking and alcohol to enhance your memory.
5. Loud music. You’ve probably heard that listening to loud music can damage the ears and hearing, but are you aware of its impact on short-term memory?
- ○ Several studies have found that constantly listening to loud music can interfere with how the brain recognizes normal sounds. The normal brain processes are interrupted, so it’s harder to remember things.
- ○ Loud music can actually damage the nerves in the brain.
- ○ This doesn’t mean you should stop listening to music. In fact, some classical music helps boost brain activity. The key is to avoid playing any type of music extremely loudly.
- ○ If your friends or family members are complaining about the noise, this means it’s time to turn it down.
6. Not getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for multiple body functions, and memory is one of the ones that is affected. The lack of vitamin D in the body can lead to cognitive or thinking issues.
- ○ To increase your vitamin D levels, spend more time in the sunlight, eat vitamin D rich foods, or take supplements with vitamin D.
If you suffer from short-term memory loss, see your doctor to determine if a medical reason is behind it. In any case, there may be lifestyle changes you can make to sharpen your memory.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.