Anxiety can help your memory

3 weeks ago Saloni Hindocha 0

Anxiety is a problem that almost all people of this millennium deal with. It is caused generally by low self-esteem and over thinking. A new research had found that anxiety can help your memory. This study has been led by the University of Waterloo. According to this study, manageable levels of anxiety actually help people in being able to recall the details of events in the past. The study was undertaken on 80 undergraduate students and it was observed that when these levels got too high or descended into fear, it could lead to the coloring of memories where people begin to associate otherwise neutral elements of an experience to the negative context.


Co-Author Myra Fernandes says that people with high anxiety have to be careful because to some degree, it benefits the memory but there is a limit to that. Very high levels cause people reach a tipping point which impacts their performance and memories. There is a very thin line between the level of anxiety which helps the memory and the level which affects their performance.  The study saw students from the University of Waterloo (64 females) complete the experiment. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to a deep encoding instruction group while the other half were randomly assigned to a shallow encoding group. All participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales.


It was discovered that individuals with high anxiety levels showed a heightened sensitivity to the influences of emotional context on their memory, with neutral information becoming tainted, or colored by the emotion with which it was associated during encoding. This emotion mostly showed a negative context.  Christopher Lee, a psychology Ph. D. candidate at Waterloo said, “Thinking about emotional events or about negative events, might put people in a negative mindset that can bias them or change the way they perceive their current environment.”