How does memory work?

Scootmagoo
Member

Not sure how many people can relate, but my ability to convert short term to long term memories isn’t what it used to be. Worse, i find it hard to recall older memories, specifically of my childhood. I’ve read that trauma in youth can often restrict ones ability to recall…but I was very fortunate to live a wonderful childhood. So I don’t think that’s the culprit…

 

The next thing I thought of was that I’m not getting enough sleep, and hence not transferring my memories from short to long term. But i sleep well, and I never really feel tired or exhausted…

 

I was encouraged to downloaded luminosity and other apps to help test my memory, and surprisingly I scored pretty high. Weirdly, my memory for numbers and directions and pictures (all things they test) has always been as sharp as a tack. Is that because those muscles are necessary for my job? Regardless, I find that they’re only good in the short term. Almost like i store them, almost photographically, and then purge it like a computer does to make room for the next day/next memory…

 

I might be overacting but I do consistently find others recalling memories from early childhood or high school, and when I go to do the same, things go blank. That not only makes me really a.) nervous but b.) sad. Can anyone else relate? Any tips on how to unlock memories that your brain has stashed away or purged to save space? Does it work like that? 

 

6 REPLIES 6

Margie
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @Scootmagoo, thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sure many members here can relate. I wonder if our sleep guide @Valerie_C or mental health guide @Rachel_M have any insight that may be helpful. 

Rachel_M
Guide
Guide

Hi @Scootmagoo your message resonates. There can be many things at play and let's just assume there are: your experiences/stresses/traumas, environment, genetics, what your mindfulness practice is, etc. I don't know the answer to your question but I can recommend meditation. It increases your capacity for memory and the mindfulness that you can get from it can maybe help exploring your thoughts. It certainly has helped me. Here is a link to a study. Please share thoughts if you have any 🙂

Very interesting study. Thanks for sharing. I just recently downloaded Headspace, and will be taking more time to meditate. I've found it does make me feel better and sharper (at least when I don't fall asleep doing it!). 

AnnMarie
Member

There is a major connection with brain health and gut health.  Have you looked into your gut health?

AnnMarie, I haven't but that's an interesting question. I did a quick read on "leaky gut" syndrome and the symptoms include bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, and aches and pains. I don't  have any of those...but it's probably not a bad thing to get checked out. How does one "look into" one's gut health. Is it as easy as asking the doctor and they will know what tests to run? 

 

Thanks for helping me!

AnnMarie
Member

In my opinion, the best track for discovering about your gut health is to visit a Naturopathic doctor or a Functional Medicine Doctor.  Both are able to run blood lab work or provide other clinical office tests to determine your gut health.  If needed, you could possibly then be referred to a gastroentrologist for perhaps and endoscopy to look at your small intestine if they deem it necessary.  The connection between your gut health and your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food (which could be weakened from a leaky gut), overall body inflammation, etc can correlate to the foggy thinking, memory issues you are detailing.  Your symptoms don’t necessarily have to “scream” digestive issues.  Often inflammation starts with chronic stress.  And, possibly symptoms can be slowly accumulating.  But if your body is “malnourished” (and that doesn’t necessarily mean underweight) and is not absorbing the proper vitamins or minerals into your system and utilizing them properly your brain function can be effected.  I’m not a physician but am a health coach.  I walk alongside my clients to assist them in eating a wholesome diet, work on ways to release stress through various means, improve sleep and see a naturopath or functional medicine physician for further discovery.  I wish you the very best and hope you get the answers you need to feel renewed!