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Take Time to Reply

This brain health tip is as much about quality communication as it is about stress management. On the surface, taking time to reply to emails or other communications is about giving yourself time to formulate your thoughts so you can speak intelligently and get your point across.

This can be a challenge in some situations, mainly if there’s an emotional charge to the topic or another factor that might tempt you to overreact. You need time, or a refractory period, to allow your brain to sort things out, create a reasonable understanding, and, hopefully, reply with an unbiased, non-confrontational opinion.

If the topic is complex or emotionally charged, you might want to ask a neutral party you trust to help you formulate your response. This sounding board helps you ensure you’re clear and respond appropriately.

While this tip primarily applies to email correspondence, there are a lot of other communication methods and social media outlets where it is also applicable. Texting can be particularly prone to miscommunication glitches as you’re forced to respond often in short detail so that it conforms with the speed with which we tend to fire off texts. This easily allows things to be misconstrued or misunderstood, or it could cause the other person to respond in an inflammatory manner.

This is particularly important in the Dementia and cognitive realm decline as social cues are often necessary to put the communication into proper context so it is not misunderstood.

Most people can get their point across with adequate clarity regarding business communications or communicating information in a dry or technical manner.

As a general rule of thumb, if something is emotionally charged or controversial, it’s a good idea to take the time to sit back, relax, and think about it. There may be a big difference in how you feel if you sleep on it.

People don’t always need answers right away. I think you will find that, in many cases, you will serve yourself and the person you’re communicating with at a much higher level if you allow yourself the time to reflect on what you will write. Sometimes, you might not even need to reply at all!

Contributor: Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Founder of APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC. For more information, please visit

Contributing authors' opinions are not necessarily those of the Dementia Society, Inc. We do not endorse nor guarantee products, comments, suggestions, links, or other forms of the content contained within blog posts that have been provided to us with permission, paid or otherwise. Dementia Society does not provide medical advice. Please consult your doctor.



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