Have you ever felt so stressed out and overwhelmed that you can’t think straight?
We now know that prolonged stress or trauma is associated with decreased volume in areas of the human brain responsible for regulating thoughts and feelings, enhancing self-control, and creating new memories. A new research study, published in today’s issue of Nature Medicine, is a first step in uncovering the genetic mechanism underlying these brain changes.
While the evidence is not yet conclusive, these studies suggest that prolonged exposure to stress can shrink the brain, both via the damaging effects of cortisol on brain neurons, and by disrupting expression of genes that facilitate neuronal connections.
This raises the question of whether there is anything we can do to prevent such damage. Since we can’t always control how much we are exposed to financial, relationship, or illness stress, are there preventive activities we can do to maintain cognitive resilience so we can continue to deal effectively with the stressors?
It is not known if we can reverse the damage by these methods, but we may lessen it and make our brains more resilient to stress.
Brain-Enhancing Activities to Combat Stress
Take a Daily DHA Supplement
Exercise Most Days
Do Yoga, Meditate, or Pray
How to meditate 4.00 minutes
Via Maggie Rouman, Rich Guy Miller