How does stress affect the brain? In order to find a definite answer to this question, it is important to understand how brain activity works and how it is altered with the presence of stressors.
The brain is one of the most vital organs in the body, since the human brain differentiates us from other creatures of the world. The ability to think, understand, and interpret information has rendered humans as the superior beings.
The brain is the center of human nervous system. Therefore, it is closely associated to any changes in your system, including stress. Experts have noted that people who undergo stress reduce their capacity for organization and memory.
Furthermore, studies are conducted to determine exactly what aspect of the brain is affected by stress to effectively cope with it.
Stress As Processed By The Brain
The human body is made up of a sophisticated system of chemical responses. When an individual experiences stress, it produces several chemical responses in the body.
Although stress is helpful during times of physical threat, the body responds similarly to psychological stress. Therefore, it is not healthy for an individual to undergo such levels of stress on a regular basis. However, this situation is unavoidable during today’s overstressed society.
How does stress affect the brain and body? When stressful situations arise, different resources of the body respond by sending blood or oxygen into the vital parts in order to survive. Hence, other functions of the body are dismissed in order to cope with the threat.
Change happens due to the release of chemicals from your brain as a response to the stimuli brought about by a stressful situation. Among the chemicals released into the bloodstream include cortisol, adrenalin, noradrenalin, and endorphins.
How Does Stress Affect The Brain Functions?
Now that it has been established that stress produce impact on the brain, it would be beneficial to address what part of the brain’s functions are altered due to the presence of stress stimuli.
The extent of its effect on the brain depends on whether this is an acute or chronic type of stress. However, memory is the most affected function of the brain when stress is concerned.
Acute stress has been detrimental to short-term memory, mostly verbal. As for chronic types of stress, the reduction of capacity for memory retention is even greater such that you may develop the inability to concentrate at work or remember important information.
The threat of memory loss is even greater with older people suffering from stress. Studies have determined that such cases of memory loss were due to the reduction in hippocampus with increased exposure to cortisol. This is the same gland responsible for your memory.
Coping With Stress
There are different methods devised to help you cope with levels of stress, regardless of its intensity. Regular exercise and meditation has been pointed out to help release tension in the muscles, and consequently relieve yourself from stress.
Meanwhile, other practical methods such as proper time management and improved organizational skills are really effective in reducing the amount of stress in your life, whether at home or in the workplace.
Now that you’ve identified how does stress affect the brain, it has become increasingly important to address issues of stress since it can eventually affect how your brain functions, and also your ability to become productive.
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