Surprise! Your Busy-ness Affects Your Memory – Here’s How

Posted by on September 8, 2017 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Thrive with 0 Comments
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By Denise Hill | Lifehack

Our lives are overfilled with things to do. And the more driven, ambitious, and connected we are, the busier we stay.

We are bombarded with messages to “unplug,” get away, take a break, slow down, and engage in “me” time. While these things are absolutely necessary and essential to our mental wellbeing, busyness does have its benefits.


Researchers have found that staying busy improves mental processing and reasoning skills, helps improve memory — both long and short term — and improves overall mental functioning.

Related Article: Physical Exercise Four Hours after Learning Improves Long-Term Memory, Study Shows

Busy people have sharper minds and better memories, plain and simple.

In a study conducted by researchers in Texas and Alabama, 330 healthy men and women ranging from age 50 to 80 were quizzed about their daily schedules and put through a battery of mental tests.

The results showed that no matter how old they were or how well educated, a busy lifestyle was linked to a healthy brain.

In this particular study, researchers began with the hypothesis “that a busy schedule would be a proxy for an engaged lifestyle and would facilitate cognition.” They were able to determine that greater busyness was associated with better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge.

busy schedule

How does staying busy improve memory?

The brain, like any other muscle, needs exercise. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities is mental exercise. Scientists believe that the amount and types of stimulation directly affects cognitive processes — especially in the area of memory improvement.

Some of the mental processes involved in having a hectic schedule are:

  • Multi-tasking
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Analyzing
  • Interruption and re-engagement of thought
  • Planning
  • Strategizing
  • Linear thinking
  • Global thinking
  • Computation

Researcher Dr. Sarah Festini of the University of Texas at Dallas said, “We show that people who report greater levels of daily busyness tend to have better cognition, especially with regard to memory for recently learned information.”

Related Article: Study: Rosemary Oil Could Help Improve Your Memory

Busyness improves episodic memory — the ability to recall specific events and working memory — which is the part of short-term memory concerned with immediate conscious perceptual and linguistic processing.

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