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Can Short Term Memory Be Boosted? Yes, If You Know How.

Can Short Term Memory Be Boosted? Yes, If You Know How.

Short Term Memory is the medical term to define active memory, meaning the information we are aware we are thinking about. Sources for acquiring short-term memory are mostly sensorial, as what can be hearing, smells or sight.

Examples of short term memory:

• Remembering a phone number we recently read

• Distinguishing between perfumes aromas

• Recalling a concept explained during a debate

• Remembering where you placed an object

However, short term memory is highly susceptible to interference. There are a certain number of factors that can reduce our capability of retaining information in our short term memory:

• Stress

• Medical conditions as Alzheimer’s Disease

• Audiovisual interferences (television, radio)

• Needing to focus our attention someplace else

Therefore, short term memory is also our operative memory to compel the tasks acquired in daily life. When negative factors undermine our capability of retaining information, it is time to consider what can be done to boost it, the sooner, the better.

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How does short term memory loss affect your lifestyle

Putting aside complex medical conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, more likely we have been subject of temporary short-term memory performance struggles at a certain point in our lives.

Using, for example, a common day in the life of a bank employee, we can understand the magnitude of suffering from this condition by imagining the amount of numbers and names that a person working in this profession needs to store over a single day. From your client inquiries to helping co-workers or doing tasks assigned by your manager, people will likely consider unfit to perform the job you are entitled to if you need to ask every 1 or 2 minutes the information you were given.

Of course “camouflage methods” can be used to mask this condition, such as writing down data in post-its, which nobody will consider a sin, or keep important information on your agenda. Reality tells that as soon as you become aware of this condition, the stress it produces is likely to enhance the problem rather than helping to find a solution in short-term unless professional help is sought.

Symptoms of short term memory loss

Unfortunately for most people, memory loss conditions are often addressed after the illness is at a very advanced stage, but is there a way to spot the condition beforehand?

Common symptoms associated with short-term memory loss are:

Cognitive Decline: A condition usually shared with Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and many other mental issues, it becomes progressively impairing, which often causes an enormous amount of frustration to the person who starts to address what’s happening. Daily routines tend to get mixed up as people may forget to take medications, pay bills or attend events.

Behavioural Changes: As a consequence of the cognitive decline, people become extremely susceptible of what others do, especially if, by chance, they mention the forgetfulness factor during chit-chat. What’s known as living on-edge is a precise way to define how a person struggling with short term memory loss is experiencing during that time.

Repetitiveness: By not acknowledging how the conversation is occurring, people suffering from memory loss conditions can fall under repetitiveness when asking the same questions over and over. Recent conversations can be forgotten, thus leading to repeat the same anecdotes to those around us. That’s the main reason why people who have friends or family members suffering from this condition are told to have a good amount of patience for not adding extra stress to the patient’s life.

Why does short memory loss happen

Science tells short term memory loss is mostly a multi-factor condition, though certain events can trigger an underlying condition to impair a person momentarily. This sole statement can be the reason why post-traumatic stress disorder3 becomes such a cliché when comes to TV series that touch the memory span loss topic as a crucial part to tell a story.

Besides emotional conditions like experiencing traumatic events as car accidents, the death of someone we cared about or acute stress conditions, there are other elements to consider when searching for the cause of short term memory loss:

• Depression

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• Cancer

• Brain Tumors

• Dementia

• Diabetes

• Head Trauma

• HIV/AIDS

• Malnutrition

• Menopause

• Hypothyroidism

• Meningitis

• Nutritional deficiencies

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• Parkinson’s Disease

• Sleep Disorders

• Syphilis

• Toxin exposure

Substance abuse – alcohol and drugs deadly mixes – are a common cause for producing memory impairment4, which, unfortunately, is usually seen in young people after heavy partying; however, some drugs to treat conditions lead to temporary memory issues as a side effect.

How to boost your short term memory

There are many reasons why somebody would seek for a way to boost their current short term memory capabilities: either to mask a worse condition among the people we care or because we need to put our skills to test under stressful situations like business meetings, moving around airports, doing presentations, etc. So, is there an effective method to boost short term memory?5 Consider the following statements as tips to improve this aspect of our life.

Start with a healthy brain lifestyle

We are what we eat, but not also that resumes what we need to focus if our aim is to change our lifestyle. Sleeping habits take an important role when talking about memory efficiency [1] since the brain doesn’t get enough time to rest when we get accustomed to sleeping less than 8 hours a day.

Stick to a healthy diet rich on “superfoods”6 like blueberries, oily fish, dark chocolate, garlic, broccoli, beetroot, almonds, etc. Reduce the processed and sugary foods like pastries as extra carbohydrates won’t add much value to your life. So next time you think of consuming Coke as a drink, why not switch to a cup of green tea?

You can also get help from appropriate brain supplements like ALCAR, Alpha GPC, Citicoline, Ginseng (the American one – Panax Ginseng) or Magnesium. But overall, what you need to consider is to engage in physical activity like 1 hour of daily walks and reducing stress from your life [2], it’s a brain cell killer!

Adapt mental exercises to your lifestyle

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There is a reason for mental stimulating games like puzzles, rubric cubes, chess or even math exercises, and the reason is you train your brain to cope with the following elements:

• Avoiding distractions (as short-term memory is extremely susceptive to it)

• Do one task at time (multitasking is just a myth that often hurts our brain)

• Increase concentration levels

If you don’t know how to play chess or you suck at maths, there are other ways to help your brain to keep fit. Video games have been taking the path of self-help for users, becoming much more than a time-taking entertainment, but also rehearsal always work: repeat aloud what you want to remember a certain amount of times and be sure it’s prone to stick.

Write down what you need to remember

The sole action of writing down either number of pieces of text helps the brain to process that information. This is the main reason why students are advised not to highlight their books like there is no tomorrow but to note down the concepts explained.

Take a break

Adding stress to your life is not only not going to help you to improve but is prone to worsen what you already are suffering from. Instead, whenever you feel exhausted or think you can’t cope with what’s in front of you, take a break from everything and seek the outside world. A walk from time to time benefits not only your health but also your mental abilities.

When everything else fails, there is coffee

Studies prove the benefits of caffeine on short-term memory and reaction times, which is considered the sole reason why nearly 80 percent of people start their daily routines with a cup of coffee.

Habit or not, drinking coffee will certainly put the couch potato mood aside and get us focused on working and processing information. Watch out! Don’t overdo your coffee dosage or consistently rely on energy beverages as increased anxiety, tachycardia and gastritis are among the most usual side effects of caffeine abuse.

Reference

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Liz Ryana

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

What is a narcissistic personality?

Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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Traits of a narcissist:

  • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
  • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
  • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
  • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
  • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

How are narcissists different from others?

Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

Why do people become narcissists?

1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

How to deal with a narcissist?

1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

8. Learn when to walk away.

When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

Reference

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