The brain is a fascinating organ.
It has billions of neurons that help the brain communicate with the rest of your body, telling your muscles to flex, twitch or spasm. The brain is connected to all of your senses too. Your nose smells, your eyes see, your fingers feel, your tongue tastes, your ears hear and some people have a sixth sense where they claim their brain helps them have extra sensory perceptions. They may see or hear things that others can’t.
Without the brain, we cannot function. It is what makes us walk the way we walk, talk the way we talk and feel the way we feel. Keeping the brain healthy should be a top priority for you so you can ensure that all your other parts will function properly.
Stress affects everyone.
When the brain is stressed, your mental health is affected. Learning which type of stress is good for you and which is bad can help you develop a plan to defeat bad stress and live a happy and healthy life.
Acute vs. Episodic vs. Chronic
Acute stress is not that bad for you. If you see a bear headed your way roaring like he may have you for lunch, your brain notifies you that it is in your best interest to get away from the bear as soon as possible. Your mouth screams, your feet run and you seek safety.
Acute stress can be fun and exciting if in small doses. It is when the stress is too overwhelming and too large that we experience stress in a negative way.
Episodic stress can be seen in people with type a personalities. They are perfectionists and expect perfection from others. They consistently worry about everything. With each new episode or event, a new level of stress and worry appear.
Chronic stress is a different story. It keeps returning, even when uninvited. You may have been traumatized in your life and with chronic stress, your brain keeps remembering this traumatic event over and over. This constantly puts stress on your brain and your body, which can lead to heart problems, mental health disorders and more. Chronic stress can affect your memory, weight, inflammation, and the chemicals in your brain.
Have you ever been confronted with a stressful situation and a few minutes later find yourself in the kitchen eating a cookie? You don’t even realize you are eating the cookie until it is almost finished. It is just a mindless reaction to stress.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released when you become stressed. Cortisol is not a friend during this time of stress. It can cause you to gain weight even when you are dieting. Cortisol has a direct link to a person’s mental health, can lead to dementia and can even destroy the body’s ability to fight infectious diseases. People suffering from diseases such as depression have been found to have higher levels of cortisol in their symptoms. It is important to do what you can to alleviate stress to avoid the release of this damaging hormone.
You went to the living room for something. What was it? Why are you there? It was just on your mind. You needed something from the living room. What was it? What was it? What was it? You can’t remember. Want to know why? Because you are stressed. When your brain is stressed you can become forgetful and confused. This gets annoying, especially for those of you who are normally quite responsible and pride yourself on being organized and having your act together.
Stress on the brain can damage the hippocampus. This is where all your memory is stored. The more stressed out your brain is, the more damage can be done to the hippocampus. Stress can also damage the prefrontal cortex and together, these damages can lead to dementia.
Having inflammation in the brain can lead to mental fatigue and a host of other mental and physical problems. Inflammation is a defense system that helps our body fight infections and diseases. When your brain is inflamed then this typically means your defense system is stuck in the go mode and your body is constantly trying to fight even when no fight is necessary.
Anti-inflammatory lifestyles are the key to reducing inflammation in the brain. You can avoid diseases like asthma, depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, allergies, and mood disorders.
Those good chemicals, the ones that make us feel good, get depleted when you have too much stress in your life and on your brain. Dopamine and Serotonin are the two main feel good chemicals you have. When these are depleted then you start to feel depressed, lose energy, lose enthusiasm and lack a desire to participate in fun activities you used to enjoy.
There is a direct link between stress on the brain, chemicals being depleted, and depression, anxiety, panic disorder, phobias and even substance abuse.
If your brain is not at its healthiest or if it is too stressed out to fight out toxins, you risk triggering a mental illness. Disorders such as attention deficit disorders, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even disorders related to sexual function can be triggered by brain stress.
Stress on the brain can also lead to strokes and even shrinking of the brain.
The good news is that stress on the brain can be alleviated. If you care about your brain you will start implementing a few techniques that will save your brain from suffering when it doesn’t have to. Activities such as exercising, eating healthy foods, and meditating to relax can be extremely beneficial.
You can become most vulnerable to stress when you are going through a major life change such as moving to a new location or having a baby or even not getting enough sleep. Getting a good support system, eating well and making small changes within your lifestyle can make a huge difference in how you handle stress and therefore; allowing your brain to function properly.
Start today by eliminating stress in your life. Get fit, get active, eat anti-inflammatory `foods, and get your life back. Believe it or not, there are researches trying to develop a stress vaccine. This may be one more way we can get rid of stress before it starts affecting all areas of our lives. Stress really can kill you. Take care of yourself starting today so you do not become a victim of stress on the brain!