I Can't Remember What I Forgot

Posted by Stephanie Lawless on 4/17/2020 7:00:00 AM

You know that moment you walk into the kitchen and cannot remember why? I do this, and it drives me crazy. Forgetting things is my first indicator that I am stressed out. I was interested to learn more about why I become so forgetful so I began searching. I found a 4 minute TedED video, How Memories Form and How We Lose Them. The first two minutes is all on how memories form. At 2:14 minutes they start to talk about the effect of chronic stress on our brain. This is what they say: 

“When we’re constantly overloaded with work and personal responsibilities, our bodies are on hyper alert. This response has evolved from the physiological mechanism designed to make sure we can survive in a crisis. Stress chemical help mobilize energy and increase alertness. However, with chronic stress our bodies become flooded with these chemicals, resulting in a loss of brain cells and an inability to form new ones, which affects our ability to retain new information.” (How Memories Form and How We Lose Them 2:14-2:50)

They then go on to talk about depression and aging. At minute 3:40 they give suggestions to aid in supporting memory retention: 

“There are several steps you can take to aid your brain in preserving your memories. Make sure you keep physically active. Increased blood flow to the brain is helpful. And eat well. Your brain needs all the right nutrients to keep functioning correctly. And finally, give your brain a workout. Exposing your brain to challenges, like learning a new language, is one of the best defenses for keeping your memories intact.” (How Memories Form and How We Lose Them 3:40-4:18)

It made me feel good to know that there was an actual scientific reason why I was so forgetful. Then, the next video that popped up was How the food you eat affects your brain. Some super interesting stuff. It prompted me to go to the kitchen, once I was there I forgot what I needed so I ate a doughnut.


Stephanie Lawless, Assistant Director