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  • Sakshi Garg Jadhav

Locked Down Minds: The Impact of the Pandemic on Our Memory and Mental Health

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? Or struggled to remember someone's name moments after meeting them?

Don't worry; you're not alone.

Memory is a complex process that can sometimes fail us when we need it most.

The memory of  COVID-19 might fade away from our  consciousness

Interesting facts: According to an article by Southtree, here are some statistics on human memory:

  1. Most memories adults had come from when we were between 15 and 25 years old.

  2. The "reminiscence bump," the tendency for older adults to remember events that occurred during their adolescent and early adult years, can account for 60% of all memories.

  3. It is possible to erase bad memories.

Did you know memory overload and monotony in your life can cause memory loss and partial forgetfulness?

Memory overload occurs when there is too much information to process, and our brains become overwhelmed. This can happen in situations where we are trying to remember too much information at once or when we are exposed to too much information over an extended period.

In the wake of the recent events, the COVID-19 pandemic stands as a testament to the profound challenges that the human brain can face. One of the many ways in which this pandemic has impacted us is through its effect on memory, as individuals struggle with forgetfulness and loss of memory.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our daily lives in many ways, and it has had a significant impact on our mental health and cognitive function.

The overload of information and repeatedly gumming to the same routine without much variation has led to boredom and a lack of mental stimulation, which resulted in forgetfulness and memory loss during the pandemic.

For example, working from home and spending more time indoors resulted in less exposure to new environments and experiences, which did lead to decreased cognitive function and forgetfulness.

Moreover, the pandemic also caused a significant increase in stress levels, which steered to memory overload and cognitive overload. The constant updates on the number of cases, deaths, and changing restrictions were overwhelming for the human brain, which impaired our ability to process and retain new information.

We wouldn't mind that. Right!

But what if this causes forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and decreased cognitive function?

Fortunately, there are ways to ways to improve your memory retention.

From eating brain-boosting foods to using technology, there are many strategies you can implement to enhance your memory function.

Let's dive into the science of human memory……

Memory is an essential human capacity that allows us to learn, recall, and store information. Our memories stored in the brain tend to fade with time.

There is a fascinating degree of individuality when it comes to our memory skills - some people can remember every detail of their lives. In contrast, others have trouble remembering anything at all.

But some universal truths about memory apply across all people:

  • Everything fades

  • Practice improves performance

  • Mindful games can help improve your concentration skills

Like any complex system, memory isn't perfect, either. Our memories don't last forever—they fade over time as new memories take their place or old memories get repressed by other things in life.

While some people might think they're "better" at remembering things than others, it ultimately goes down to genetics because these abilities aren't necessarily something that anyone can control.

Nevertheless, there are ways you can deliberately improve your memory through various techniques such as mnemonics (memory tricks), meditation, and mindfulness practice.

Fun Fact: According to a study published in ScienceDaily, writing on paper can lead to stronger brain activity and memory recall compared to electronic documents.

Harvard Health states that regular exercise can enhance memory by boosting the growth of brain cells and neurotransmitter production.

Worry not; with some simple tips and tricks, you can carve your way to improved brain function leading to ways to 'Elephant Memory':

1. Paying attention: Being fully present and attentive to the information you want to remember can enhance encoding and retention.

2. Rehearsing information: Repeating information to yourself, such as using mnemonic devices or associating new information with prior knowledge, can enhance encoding and retention.

3. Using multiple senses: Engaging multiple senses, such as sight, sound, and touch, can enhance encoding and retention.

4. Getting enough sleep: Sleep is critical for consolidating memories and improving retention.

5. Managing stress: High levels of stress can impair memory, so finding ways to manage stress can improve memory performance.

6. Engaging in regular exercise: Exercise has been shown to enhance memory and cognitive function.

7. Eating a healthy diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in nutrients can support brain function and improve memory.

8. Practicing memory tasks: Regularly engaging in memory tasks, such as crossword puzzles or memory games, can improve memory performance.

Writer's Thoughts

The science of human memory is a vast, exciting, and fascinating topic. It's also one that is incredibly relevant to our everyday lives. Memory loss or forgetfulness can significantly impact our well-being. Memory overload and monotony are two factors that can contribute to memory impairment, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges.

However, there are ways to combat these effects, such as engaging in mentally stimulating activities, practising mindfulness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you want to learn about ways to improve your memory or simply understand how the brain works better you need to do some lifestyle changes. Yoga & meditation have been used in many different cultures throughout history, and countless studies have shown that regular meditation helps people with various conditions, including anxiety disorders, Parkinson, Alzheimer, and more.

In this modernized world, we must continue to prioritize our cognitive health and seek ways to manage stress and anxiety to protect our memory from diminishing. In this way, we can navigate present and future challenges with clarity and resilience.


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