How Stress Affects the Brain

How chronic stress can affect the brain's size, structure, and how it functions:

Nai-post ni TED-Ed noong Miyerkules, Pebrero 3, 2016

 

We know it, don’t we?  We have heard it way too often.  Even good stress IS stress.  And it’s one of those hidden toxins that can really hurt us.

Please take 4 minutes to watch the video and then take one step RIGHT NOW to de-stress your body, even if just a little.  One thing.

I just learned one thing to try.  Some studies with cancer patients showed how effective it is to just take a deep breath and say out loud as you release it, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” For the cancer patients it added years to their lives![1]  If we yawn, even better, Mark Waldman[2] points out.  He demonstrated to me today how saying “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” and following it with a big yawn and then physical movement (even just rolling our head around, loosening our neck muscles) can detach us from thinking a negative thought that is worrying and stressful.

As a result I’m putting reminders in a number of places to say “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” followed by a yawn and some physical movement many times a day.  I’ve used the clock on my phone to set an alarm to remind me at least twice a day.  I’m putting up little notes around my office and living space and on the steering wheel of my car.  I’m writing “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” onto my list of things to evaluate every week (during my Sunday morning review of how the week went).  I’ll renew my commitment to breathing deep, yawning, and saying  “Ahhhhhhhh!” frequently every day when I haven’t done as well as I’d have liked.  I’m excited to learn about this as one more thing I can do to keep my brain from shrinking from the stress in my life!  Please join me.

I’ve also reminded myself to take a STRESS RELIEF COMPLEX[3] capsule at bedtime, since we know our bodies do a lot of healing as we sleep.  I’ve read the research on this combination of herbs, the clinicals[4], and the testimonies, and I’m convinced enough to keep a few tiny tabs  handy in my purse for super stressful “whatevers” that come up.  Letting cortisol flood our bodies day after day takes a huge physical toll as the video [and lots of other resources] explain!  For one huge thing–it shrinks our brain!

Of course there are lots of other things that we know will help us deal with stress.  If you’re ready for more, here’s a great list of suggestions from HEALTH RESOURCE.  Maybe you haven’t thought of all these suggestions from health professionals?  Maybe you’ve stopped doing something you know helps?  While the article focuses on the stresses of motherhood, all of us can find ourselves in it.  DOWN WITH SHRINKING BRAINS!

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”

REFERENCES

  1. Psycho-oncology.  May 2013. Tibetan sound meditation for dognitive dysfunction. Milbury, et al.
  2. Mark Robert Waldman is faculty at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, where he teaches executive communication, stress reduction, and mindfulness to Executive MBA students. He is the author of 13 books including Words Can Change Your Brain and How God Changes Your Brain. He teaches throughout the world and his work has been featured on PBS, National Public Radio, Oprah and Friends, and in dozens of national magazines.
  3. If my blog doesn’t make it clear enough, please know that SHAKLEE Corporation is my brand partner for MANY reasons, and this product is sold in my online store.
  4. Stress Relief Complex was tested in a preliminary 7-day, double-blind, placebo-controlled, employee use test.  In four key categories (feeling relaxed, being more alert, feeling less tense, and having better concentration), people taking Stress Relief Complex felt more benefits than those who consumed a placebo.”   Stress Relief Complex contains a blend of L-theanine, ashwagandha, beta sitosterol, and L-tyrosine.

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