Stress, Anxiety and Your Memory

By Ron White

If you want to improve your memory….


Stress is one of the worst enemies to your memory. When I trained for the USA Memory Championship in 2009 former US Navy SEAL, TC Cummings reminded me that one of the things that made the SEALs such ultimate warriors is that they remain calm under pressure. To train under pressure TC would suggest that I train in environments with distractions such as restaurants, bars and even while SNORKELING!

I am not going to suggest to you must avoid being stressed, after all it is part of being alive. With that said, you must learn to manage the stress effectively or your memory and health will be shot. If you have a high level of stress over a long period of time it can hurt your brain function in a major way.  When you are stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is known for increasing belly fat and heart disease but it is also hurts your ability to remember and think straight.

How do you manage your stress?

-        Listen to soft music or even sounds of the rain forest or crashing waves. I have this application on my iphone

-        I will routinely get massages the weeks before a memory tournament to remain relaxed.

-        Work! Often time stress is a result of worry. If you work towards your goals and do everything you can then the worry should disappear because you know that you have done everything that you could

-        Exercise.  Exercise releases energy that might otherwise be bundled up and cause stress

-        resolve conflicts. I have learned if I am training for a memory tournament and upset with a family member it creates anxiety and hurts my ability to focus which KILLS memory. So I resolve conflict not always for the relationship…often times for my MEMORY!

There you have it….relax and improve your memory!