Poor Memory and Stress
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: May 26, 2006

My 16-year-old daughter can study a book 5 times a day and that very night she will not remember a thing she studied. This is only with studying or trying to remember things to say. What can I do for her? How can she get help?

This sounds as though your daughter is stressed about studying and remembering. Stress increases the hormone cortisole, which interferes with memory. Work with your daughter to find ways that she can relax. Spending time relaxing will mean much less time is required for studying.

Exercise, even gentle, simple exercise like walking, helps a person to relax. Deep breathing exercises aid relaxation. Both of these actions increase oxygen flow to the brain, improving the memory. Regular, daily relaxation routines, like yoga or tai chi are helpful on an ongoing basis.

Massage is relaxing. Perhaps you could gently massage your daughter’s shoulders and/or her feet regularly until she learns to relax.

A good night’s sleep is very important. There are many good herbal teas, taken an hour before bedtime, that help one to relax and allow sleep. Packaged teas available in health food stores may include chamomile, skullcap, valerian, passionflower, oat straw, motherwort and linden flower.

It is important to avoid stimulants like coffee, strong black tea, chocolate and caffeine-containing soft drinks. These stimulants increase stress.

Help your daughter with her diet, to ensure that she is getting sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals with whole foods, avoiding processed foods, junk foods and artificial colourings and flavourings.

If there is some deep source that may be causing stress, like suppressed anger, bereavement or some other difficulty, your daughter may benefit from professional counseling. Ask for a referral from your daughter’s school, doctor or from any of your friends who may have used psychological counseling successfully.

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