Aging is indeed associated with some level of memory loss, but severe forms of it go beyond the effects of getting older. A recent study suggests where you live could be impacting your risk of memory deterioration. The researchers found that people who live in urbanized areas are at a higher risk for declining memory. The link may be explained by the fact that city dwelling comes hand in hand with higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Scottish researchers have coined the term Busy Life Syndrome (BLS) referring to a type of memory loss associated with living a busy life. Depression, stress, and a lack of concentration are the symptoms of BLS, which stems from information overload.
Environmental factors are becoming an increasingly common contributor to memory loss, especially among younger adults. Researcher Nergiz Hüseyinoğlu explained, “There are some worrisome signs that a person should consult a neurologist, such as encountering difficulty in recognizing faces or repeating the same questions multiple times.”
So how can you protect yourself against memory loss associated with BLS? Hüseyinoğlu suggested, “Proper sleep habits and not smoking as well as regular vitamin intake are important preventative measures.”
It may also be wise to slow down your life a bit for the sake of your memory. This includes organizing your time more effectively, regularly unplugging yourself to stop the incessant flow of information, knowing when to say “no” so you aren’t spreading yourself too thin, and taking the necessary time out for yourself.
Reducing stress is another great way to prevent memory loss as stress can have very negative effects on your brain. You can do so by exercising, meditating, practicing yoga or tai chi, and going for a massage.
Lastly, it’s important to treat any underlying mental health issues. If you suspect you have depression or suffer from anxiety, have yourself checked. Timely treatment can help maintain your memory for years to come.