Are You Stressed Stupid?

Everything about our life can affect our stress hormones. Our outlook on life and our perspective can affect how happy you are and all affect your stress hormones. Cortisol is our main stress hormone. This hormone is secreted in response to any physical, emotional or chemical stress. Cortisol is released from your adrenal glands. People who experience adrenal fatigue and adrenal overdrive, meaning too little or too much, can experience memory changes.

Cortisol can be tested by blood, saliva, and urine. Each test tells you a little something different. The blood shows what is being secreted from the gland, the saliva, and urine show what has entered the target tissue and is being released. Your doctor needs to use some judgment with any of those three tests to get a good conclusion for you as to what may be going on. Cortisol should be high in the morning and low at night. Lifestyle changes can really help deal with some of the living things that are more difficult to change and making new habits around these can be extremely beneficial.

In terms of some basic things you can do, here are some tips to reduce your stress overall:

  • Make sure you are only focused on worrying about things you can change
  • Focus on positive friends and relationships
  • Eliminate nighttime artificial lights so your body can sleep and wake on time. Limit your TV time or if you do have to work on a screen use blue light blockers.
  • Go to bed and wake at the same time
  • Reduce or eliminate excessive stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and sugar
  • Don’t eat 2 hours before bed
  • Take an am and pm walk so your body knows what time it is.
  • Exercise in the morning to keep your Cortisol cycling at the same time of day
  • Make a list of the things that are going in your life. There will be some things that you can control. Check them off and make a note of what you can do. There will be other things on your list that you cannot control. You will need to find a way to release these. Hire a life coach, see a counselor, whatever it takes.

One of my favorite videos to have people watch is Bob Newhart’s Stop its video. Take 6 minutes to have a giggle on it. If you need any help with balancing stress in your life hire a professional to help you. A marriage and family therapist, psychologist, life coach, etc can all be of great help. As always we are equipped to help you figure out if your memory changes are because you are just too stressed.

Stress distracts our brain from focusing. If you have a high amount of stress – address the stress, then decide if your memory is changing. If you have not been able to figure it out, we are here to help!