You walk into the marketplace and suddenly meet your neighbor. Forgot your neighbor’s name? It is as if your mind went completely blank. These sorts of “senior moments” can happen once in a while in everybody’s life, from the young to the very old. You may wonder that why do I forget things easily.
Let us discuss some of the reasons.
Lack of focus due to anxiety
Memory glitches occur when you cannot focus. This can happen due to your restless mind, background chatter or your phone ringing. Lack of concentration on the task at hand is another reason. Anxiety is a condition which can cause you to feel like you forget things. If you live with anxiety for a prolonged period, your inability to remember things will get worse.
Natural aging process
Small memory losses are a normal part of aging. With natural aging, our bodies start undergoing physiological changes that can cause memory glitches. It requires a lot of effort to recall information. We tend to categorize this as real memory loss, but it is slowing down of our mental faculties due to aging.
Lack of adequate sleep and healthy food
Lack of adequate sleep is another factor which causes memory loss. Sleep is essential for the efficient functioning of the brain. Sleep is needed to consolidate a memory so that in future, it can be recalled. The human body and brain need healthy food. Malnourished body means the body is not receiving the right amount of food in the right combination and paves the way for loss of memory.
Lack of concentration due to depression
Short-term memory loss may occur due to depression. People with depression often cannot concentrate when receiving instructions. This can cause misunderstandings at home or work and ruin relationships. Depression if untreated increase the chance of developing risky behavior such as substance addiction or alcohol addiction.
Side effects of medicines
Side effects of certain medicines contribute to memory loss. The ensuing build up of these drugs into the bodies over a period puts us at memory loss risk. Prescription medications are needed in certain cases, but these medications can affect your cognitive skills and your memory. Play a proactive role in talking to your doctor or your pharmacist if you think, at any point of time, the prescribed drugs and over the counter medicines are causing your loss of memory.
Alcohol consumption over a long period
Memory loss may occur due to prolonged use of alcohol over a long period. As the alcohol consumption increases so do the impairment in memory and it may result in failing to recall key details of an event.
Conflict of old memories with new memories
Proactive interference can sometimes lead to confusion, especially, when old memories and new memories cross paths with each other. Retroactive interference can get in our way to recall old events because new memories are affecting our ability to recall.
Low thyroid level
Low thyroid level results in loss of memory. Hypothyroidism can trigger temporary brain fog. The neurological functions slow down because of this hormonal deficiency, and it may lead to a case of forgetfulness. We cannot store information because of distractions sometimes.
Sometimes we do not store information in long-term memory. In the short term memory, we can recall things easily in the span of less than a minute. Memory lapses may also occur because of multitasking. Switching from one task to another continuously may lead to impairment of our ability to focus.
Suppression of traumatic events
We have a tendency to forget events which are traumatic in nature. Motivated forgetting involves suppression of uncomfortable memories. A stress of any kind, such as death of a near and dear one, contributes to loss of memory. Stress can result in developing problems in concentration. Stress caused by an emotional trauma can also lead to loss of memory. When your mind is distracted, your capacity to remember may suffer.
Too much stress
The worry of any sort, such as retirement is another factor responsible for the loss of memory. Too much worrying over a long period can adversely affect brain function in a big way. Your body releases a hormone called cortisol when you are stressed out. The stress hormones released by prolonged stress hampers the ability of the brain to transmit information. If a particular memory is not accessed regularly, the memory trace created with it fades with time. Decay theory is often attributed as one of the causes responsible for retrieval failure.
Suggestions to overcome forgetfulness
Take help of daily planners in creating a to-do list. Set your alarms and use their multiple features to organize your dates. Stop multi-tasking. Concentrate at a time, on one task at hand. Focus on smaller details. Pay attention to the items which surround the objects you have forgotten. Keep your things organized. Separate your documents and arrange them in a way that makes sense to you.