It pisses me off that I can’t remember things. My memory used to be so great. I could recall tiny details of things that happened in college or wild nights that I had in high school. I’ve been told that anxiety and trauma influence your memory. For example, when you experience a traumatic event, you may have trouble remembering the details of it because your brain blocked them out. That’s a good kind of forgetting I think.
I Can’t Remember and That Makes Me Anxious
Something that I’m learning now about not remembering things is that I don’t have to feel bad about it. A friend of mine might say “do you remember this?” And if I don’t, I can ask further questions. And if I still don’t remember it’s not my fault. My doctor told me that if you don’t remember something it’s because when it happened at the time you didn’t store it in your memory bank. That kind of made me feel better.
It’s difficult because I already deal with anxiety so when I don’t remember something that causes me more anxiety and then it’s a vicious cycle. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way though. There are so many things to worry about in life and if your memory is truly bothering you, you will know and you will do something about it.
Depression can also contribute to you not having the sharpest memory. Thankfully when you come out of being depressed your short-term memory and long-term memory seems to be better. Being easily forgetful is sometimes a symptom of depression. On a related note, if you are wondering if you’re depressed you can check out this article https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/feeling-down-or-blue-wondering-am-i-depressed-you-may-be/.
A great memory technique you can use is to practice remembering peoples names that you’ve just meet. Even if it’s just once in a store, I like to ask people their names so that I can practice remembering them.
There are exercises that you can do to help yourself with memory. Personally I really like the app Lumosity. And they are totally not sponsoring me to say that, I just really like them.
Also remember ( pun intended) that our brains fill up just like a cup of water does. You don’t want your brain to overflow, so it empties out memories that doesn’t need. The most important thing to remember is not to feel bad when you do not remember . If you’re feeling forgetful try to be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best that you can with the brain that you have. Tell your brain good job for everything its doing.
-Sarah Fader, CEO