Stress and the Science of Brain

As our website is called Stressfreeall, many a time I ask is being Stressfree a dream in the present world? Is it possible NOT to be stressful?

And then comes a thought, if we realize any problem we can tackle it, so my friends lets delve deep into Stress, how does it all start?

Thanks to digital platforms and social media and the awareness and mental health campaigns that we all know about the word stress and How it affects our Mind & body but still we need to look into it deeply…as we are in the Wellness Log of Stress Free All, and what better way to start it with.,

Regardless of the status we hold, life can get stressful at times, sometimes it may be financial setbacks, health issues, workplace challenges or personal problems, but whatever problems they might be we can’t allow them to make us crumble. Let us analyze further.

Stress and the Brain are closely linked, very similar to how Creativity and the Brain are interlinked. In fact, stress is basically “All in our Heads.” There are three parts of the brain that are highly involved in how we recognize and respond to stressors of life-

The Amygdala

The Hippocampus

& The Prefrontal Cortex

These three areas of the brain work with the hypothalamus to turn on and off the production of stress hormones and related responses like an increased heart rate. Apart from controlling our stress response, our brains can also be affected by the Stress itself

Researchers are now learning how stressors can physically alter our brains, which in turn, may impact how we learn, form memories, and even make decisions.

Stress Can Change Our Brains

Stress is actually the most common cause of changes in brain function. Recent studies have shown indications of how this could happen. One study used baby monkeys to test the effects of stress on development and long-term mental health. Half the monkeys were cared for by their peers for 6 months while the other half remained with their mothers. Afterwards, the monkeys were returned to typical social groups for several months before the researchers scanned their brains.

For the monkeys who had been removed from their mothers and cared for by their peers, areas of their brains related to stress were still enlarged, even after being in normal social conditions for several months.

Although more studies are needed to explore this fully, it’s pretty scary to think that prolonged stress could affect our brains long-term.

How Stress Hormones Work

We have a few different stress hormones that affect our bodies. Adrenaline, Noradrenaline and Cortisol are stress hormones called Glucocorticoids that are essential for us to function properly in the face of danger. While these hormones can be useful in helping us to learn and form new memories, too much of them can be unhealthy. When our lives are filled with chronic stress, we can enter a state called Cortisol Dominance, which negatively affects learning, attention span, and memory.

Although chronic stress can occur in everyday life, there are some situations where it’s a more common occurrence. War zones are an obvious one, as soldiers are under constant pressure and experience fight or flight situations far more often than most of us. We used to think fight or flight was a brief state that occurred in sporadic bursts of up to 10 minutes during an adult’s life, but researchers recently found that during a war, we can keep a state of fight or flight going for months on end, which can have an adverse effect on our organs.

There is so much more about stress that I don’t think it will be right of me to bombard you with all that in this article itself. I will be sharing many more insights into stress and how to manage it in my other write ups.

So do keep coming back. Any specific information regarding stress, leave your comments or connect with me on mail.

Till we connect again

Be well Be happy.

Reenu

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