You're on your way to the supermarket, one of the million things on your to-do list -- and now you're stuck in traffic. As you drum your fingers against the steering wheel, you can feel the stress and pressure building. By the time you make it to the store, you've forgotten those crucial three items you're there to buy.
Don't blame a lazy brain on the blip. The culprit is stress. A study by the University of California, Irvine, shows that even short-term stress can temporarily impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory.
Researchers identified a novel process by which stress causes memory lapses. They found that rather than involving the widely known stress hormone cortisol, acute stress activates selective molecules called corticotrophin,which disrupt the activity of the brain that collects and stores memories.
The only way to prevent the brain dimming reaction is to try and limit stress. Techniques that can help include breathing deeply; having a cup of green tea; going for a walk; playing with a pet; turning on your favorite music; or meditating, even for just five minutes.
And you can help minimize future episodes by writing a to-do list or a shopping list, no matter how short.--
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