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Oh yeah, how I've been having a lot of premature "senior moments" lately. And it looks like I'm not alone. According to this article, all the stress of our downsized, work-three-jobs-in-one lifestyle these days is making us forget more than we used to.

    Stressful situations in which the individual has no control were found to activate an enzyme in the brain called protein kinase C, which impairs the short-term memory and other functions in the prefrontal cortex, the executive-decision part of the brain, says Dr. Amy F. T. Arnsten of Yale Medical School.

This is an important thing to keep in mind for meetings--if your participants aren't relaxed and ready to learn, they probably won't retain much. How about a little yoga icebreaker, or some pre-course meditation? I know, a lot of groups wouldn't go for it, but at least make sure they're comfortable, and try to pry those cellphones, pagers, and PDAs out of their tense little hands if you can. (I'm convinced that all this 24/7 connectivity raises the stress level hugely, at least for people like me.)

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