Earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunami – what’s happening to the world?
And all of these disasters have left heartbreak in their wake. Dr. Lamont (co-founder of the Brain and Memory Foundation) lives in Christchurch and fortunately sustained very little damage. She is a counsellor and conducts the Christchurch Memory Clinic. Many very distressed clients are coming to her at the moment because of earthquake stress. From her blog:
“People are describing themselves as ‘scattered’, with little focus or concentration. Technology experts are talking of looking away from their computer screens and then being unable to recall what they had been viewing seconds before. Inability to recall well-known information is causing added distress. Teachers report students are unable to stay ‘on task’. This has far-reaching ramifications as work productivity drops and students prepare for end-of-year examinations.”
So what can be done to help these symptoms?
Stress affects your memory function.
Here are a few simple strategies to try if you are feeling under pressure.
When Stress Affects Your Memory.
- Take a deep breath and exhale slowly; do this three times and concentrate of physically relaxing
- Step away from whatever it is that you are doing. Stretch your arms forwards, to the sides; clasp your hands behind your back and pull your shoulders back. Breathe deeply.
- Get physical: walking, jogging, swimming or wii will all help your body ‘get back in tune’.
- Be determined NOT to multi-task – one thing at a time is all that you can expect when you are under stress.
- Treat yourself to a massage or maybe acupuncture?
- Be sure you do all you can to get a decent night’s sleep. That is SO important.
- Professional help ( e.g. psychotherapy, anger management) might be needed if the stress persists but there are many self-management things you can try first,
Reduce stress and your memory will thank you!
Phd, MA, MNZAC, MNZPsS
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