“Where did I leave my keys?”
“It’s on the tip of my tongue…”
We all know what it’s like to be forgetful or have trouble finding the right words. But when your brain constantly lets you down, it has a big impact on your daily life.
Cognitive problems like poor memory, slow thinking, difficulty focusing and mental fatigue are common and frustrating symptoms that accompany many chronic diseases. Mild mental impairments can be the result of physical changes in your body, a side effect from medical treatments or intensified by stress, anxiety and depressive feelings.
People often don’t realise how much cognitive problems affect your everyday activities. When you can’t think as clearly and fast as you used to, it can be hard to finish your studies, perform well at your job, navigate busy traffic safely or even join in on conversations. As a result, having cognitive problems can contribute to loneliness and social isolation almost as much as physical symptoms do.
Attention – the mental ability to focus on one thing while mostly ignoring everything else that’s going on around you – is one of our most basic cognitive functions. It supports countless brain activities, from listening to someone talk and reading this sentence to driving and memorizing new facts.
That’s why the tips below focus on the often-overlooked mental side of recovery: your attention span.