|Memory lapses at the grocery store|
& other signs of excessive stress
By Nicky Vanvalkenburgh
Have you ever started to do something, and then forgotten what it was? You have a
lot on your mind, and stress or anxiety causes you to lose your focus.
Consider this scenario. You're at the grocery store, and your eye catches someone you've known for years. They
smile and say hello. Oh my gosh, what's their name again? You can't remember. It's right on the tip of your
tongue... but you can't seem to get it out. What's their name again? You draw a blank. How embarrassing!
Obviously, you know their name. It's stored somewhere in your mind, but you can't
access it. You're a bit nervous and can't think clearly. What's happened is that you've consciously suppressed the
person's name. That's why access to this information is blocked.
The next time this happens to you, take a deep breath and relax. Release the tension and frustration from your body
and mind. Silently say something positive to yourself, such as "This information will come to me, if I just
relax and let go. My mind is alert and focused. I am capable of remembering this information. Now, what is their
This simple excercise involves recognizing stress, releasing your
frustration, affirming your ability to remember, and then
trying again to recall the information.
Armed with this technique, you are better equipped to handle temporary
memory lapses. Isn't that easy? The key is to
respond to stress in a calm, level-headed way. With this in mind, here are ten signs of excessive stress:
1. Forgetfulness. Stress short-circuits your memory, at least temporarily.
2. Irrational thinking. Under stress, it is hard to think clearly and get organized. Small
challenges become huge obstacles.
3. Feelings of frustration, anger, anxiety, and fear. Stress can cause our feelings to
spiral out of control.
4. Impulsive behavior. You may respond in a way that’s completely out of character for
you. You act on a whim, without thinking about the consequences.
5. Tendency to make mistakes. You may forget something, leave it behind, or overlook details
that you normally would have considered.
6. Headaches, backache, joint or muscle pain. Stress may manifest itself in the form of
physical symptoms. Left untreated, these symptoms only get worse.
7. Difficulty in falling asleep. Stress makes it difficult to wind down and drift off to
8. Shallow breathing and tightness in the chest. This is a sure sign of stress and
9. Weakened immune system. Under stress, we are more susceptible to colds, flu, headaches, sore
throat, and congestion.
10. Arguments with family and friends. When stressed, you become easily agitated over trivial
matters. You may become angry with a family member or friend, simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong
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