Is STRESS Making You Dumb?

If you’re depressed it’s because you’re thinking about the past. If you’re anxious it’s because you’re thinking about the future. If you’re stressed out it’s because you’re not where you should be right now, which is focused in the present moment

Dublin Life Coach l Lost Your Confidence Or Motivation?

Don’t be dumb, relaaax…

Why is it that some people manage to be relatively stress free whilst others are in chronic freak-out mode?

When we stress, we release cortisol into our brain. This diminishes our brain power during the period of stress.

Researchers say too much of this is bad for our brain!

We all know stress can make us anxious, uncomfortable, depressed, and tired. However, recent neurological studies reveal that too much stress can change the very structure and functioning of our cells.

Stress can cause brain damage!Dublin Life Coach l Lost Your Confidence Or Motivation?

Short term stress can actually be good for us. It may help us avoid a serious accident, or even improve athletic performance. But the type of chronic stress that’s so common today can really wear our brain down.

Stress hormones can erode important neuronal connections, which can lead to forgetfulness.

Recent research has shown stress can actually shrink the hippo campus (the memory center of our brain). The loss actually looks a lot like stroke damage! Stress also creates free radicals that kill brain cells.

But with a constant influx of bills to pay, people to see and things to do… how can we reduce our stress levels?

Here’s a good place to start:

Take it easy, on other people.

Many of us are too quick to criticize and find fault with other people, oftentimes for no good reason. This can become a habit, not a good habit to practice. It stresses other people out and it stresses us out too.

If you are constantly critical of your partner, work colleagues, your kids, bad drivers, total strangers… really what you’re doing is teaching yourself to be critical of you.

So, pay attention to your habits and your thinking. This is called meta-cognition (thinking about your thinking).

Are you asking too much of others and yourself?

Give them a break and give yourself a break too.

Praise more, criticize less, and notice your stress levels drop.

How would you like to make yourself feel happier and more relaxed anytime you want?

There is strong scientific evidence from the University of California that we can change our mood by changing our facial expression, posture, and movement to reflect a different emotion than the one that we’re currently experiencing.

Our cortex can consciously modify our face and body language, but the accompanying emotional response is unconscious.

For example, if you feel down you can act as if you were happy and the brain will follow.

If you feel stressed out, act as if you were feeling really relaxed, and your brain will help you feel more relaxed.

We usually think of our emotions as things that “happen” to us, but brain research tells us we’ve much more control than we think.

For instance, a fake smile on your face has been shown to increase heart rate, finger temperature, and stimulate the part of the left frontal cortex associated with spontaneous joy! 🙂

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Comments

  1. Hi Anna,

    Stress = Brain Damage! Scary stuff.

    Have been using exercise and meditation to reduce stress levels, it definitely works.

    I keep coming across articles on cortisol lately – think there is message I’m meant to get here 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder that our mind follows our body, so back to taking a few minutes here and there to breathe properly, smile and then go and find someone I can genuinely praise 🙂

  2. Keith, you wanna find someone or something to praise? You gotta look for it, for whatever you look for, you’re bound to find… 🙂

  3. markstrong says:

    This is a wonderful blog where we are getting more information…..

  4. Long term exposure to stress can have harmful effects on both body and mind. People really need to be more aware this and include more proactive activities in their lives. One thing I like to do is keep a gratitude journal where I spend a few minutes each day writing down everything I am grateful for. Also, it comes in handy whenever I have a bad experience. I just spend a few minutes writing in my gratitude journal and it helps to regain some perspective.

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