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Stress Can Shrink Your Brain

Stress Can Shrink Your Brain

Stress can become debilitating when it is continuous without relief or relaxation. It affects our concentration, ability to think clearly and we may become frustrated, moody and easily agitated.

Because the mind is always active, trying to relax or sleep becomes difficult – this leads to low energy and being constantly worn out.  Stress can make us feel overwhelmed, worthless and anxious – that we are losing control.

These may all sound familiar but did you know that Stress can affect the structure, functioning and size of your Brain.  When we are stressed the fear centre of the Brain, the Amygdala, produces Cortisol.  When lots of cortisol is produced the electric signals in the Hippocampus associated with learning, memories and stress control deteriorate.  Too much Cortisol can also cause the brain to shrink leading to the reduced production of new brain cells in the Hippocampus making it harder for us to learn and remember things

With exercise and meditation you can reverse the effects of cortisol on the brain. These activities reduce stress and increase the size of the hippocampus therefore improving your memory.

If you are unable to exercise or just don’t have the energy then try meditation.

Mindfulness courses help to establish a meditation practice and build an awareness of how stress manifests itself in the body by experiencing physical sensations directly – unmediated by mental and emotional reactions.  Using the body as a barometer enables stress to be identified before it becomes overwhelming by responding rather than reacting to situations and thoughts therefore developing a new way to relate to stress.

Through regular practise mindfulness can help to reduce cortisol levels and the devastating effect it has on the brain and body.

Get control of your stress before it takes control of you.

If you are interested in learning mindfulness to reduce your stress levels please visit www.mindfully-aware.com/learn-mindfulness

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