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Harmful Stress to the Brain

Updated on August 6, 2016

What is stress?

The word stress is usually used when we find ourselves being overworked and everything we do has become too much. Some may take longer to feel it and some shorter, but eventually we all feel it at one point or another. It is then we try to find ways to cope with it, and sometimes we find it. Coping with stress is not as easy as it may sound, we might be building stress on top of stress in the process of coping. No matter how much we hide our problems, it will still be there. But we also need to realize some things are problems we create for ourselves. We live with stress everyday of our lives, and we need to face it that there is no cure. Everyone has their own version of stress and how it is defined. Our basic instinct for stress is "fight or flight" response, which produces a chemical in the brain that we will see later on. All the symptoms of stress is not new to anyone and should not be. Just keep in mind that stress has an enormous effect on our health.

How stress can affect our health?

Stress can definitely affect how our brain functions. And the biggest problem is, our brain tells the rest of our body how to function. If the brain is having problems because of stress, it will affect how our heart works. There is a brain stem that reaches all the parts of our body, from mental to physical. Stress has been known to disrupt or interfere with our immune system making us much more vulnerable to illness. Another common issues from stress are losing sleep and causing depression in the process. Our brain handles stress at most thirty (30) seconds at a time, and this cycle runs repeatedly non-stop. It is studied that stress can cause death to brain cells. There is a chemical that is produced from the body called cortisol and it helps us cope with stress. Cortisol is released and binds to neurons in the brain to produce calcium in the membrane. This process helps us reduce and deal with our stress. But when the process of producing cortisol is prolonged, there will be production overload of calcium which results to killing the brain cells. Many studies show brain cells decrease dramatically after prolonged stress and that the reproduction of brain cells only happens at certain parts of the brain not specifically on the part where brain cells are dead due to prolonged stress.

Scratch and hug stress relief
Scratch and hug stress relief

Reasons of stress

There are many, almost too many reasons for stress. It could be as severe as a death in the family to as simple as a scratch on the car. We all handle stress differently and therefore solutions for one may be different from others. Some may view failing as an edge for learning, and others may view it as plain failure. We should keep in mind that our reason for stress should be something huge or that impacts our life dramatically not because of something petty.

The most common symptoms in stress are:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Anorexia
  • Hyperventilation
  • Missed menstrual cycle (women)
  • Decrease sex interest
  • Increase in sarcasim
  • Nightmares
  • Complains
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal

There are much more symptoms that are produced by stress which leads to more severe health issues. Knowing a source to be able to relax is important, and it is the first step in living an almost stress free life. There is no such thing as stress free, no matter how well everything is, or is going to be, we always seem to be successful at creating a way to hurt ourselves and stress is the easiest way to do so.

When we are stressed, we try to let it go and sometimes it will come back worse than what it was. Those around you will also be stress as well, the mood in an environment are affected easily, creating yet more stress like a ripple effect. Stress is a disorder that needs to be controlled, when it gets worse it will be harder to control and it may be too late.

Relax on the beach with a beautiful sunset
Relax on the beach with a beautiful sunset

Ways to cope with or relief stress

Treating stress is neither hard nor easy. It all depends on the person that is experiencing it. Some are able to deal with it way better than others and need no help from anyone, but some are not able to deal with it and need to seek professional help for solution. We need to understand that stress comes from how we think and handle things, pressure from work is a common source. To re-organize the way we think may help, but that requires dedication. Some recommend meditation or exercise, others may find a vacation much more relaxing. The brain is part of the body, hence it needs rest too, and need plenty of it to unwind and refresh itself for another day. Perfect example is when we workout and overdo it, our body will be in pain and will require the rest to recover the damage that was done, this goes for the brain too. If we keep stressing it out, then we are abusing the brain and it will eventually break just like everything else.

Another example is how to deal with stress caused by a failing grade. It is crucial to figure out a plan that can alleviate the stress little at a time. First, you need to examine yourself on why you failed, was it because you did not study or you did your best but still failed anyway. If you did not study, then you should not dwell on it but instead study next time to pass it. If you did your best but failed anyway, this can affect your confidence and ego making it quite depressing and thus causing stress along with depression. Most failing point is also a learning point when you tried your best, sometimes looking at life at a different angle can change your mental state.

Part of stress is understanding, in order to combat something you first need to know what it is. The definition of stress like any word simply has different meanings and recognizing an itch is easier to treat. Take time to re-evaluate the things you do and the different problems you are experiencing, prioritize each issue and resolve them as they are. Talk to people, get an outsiders view, solutions might come from those you don't expect.

Anyone can say "relax" but it's much harder than it sounds, you can seek professional help and that may or may not help. Personally I had always found that stress relief comes easy by talking or venting, I had also found meditation to do well. Sometimes facing the fact that there is nothing that can be done at the moment or what's done is done also has helped. Just finding that relax point is enough of a pain to build up stress, taking time to fine tune your mind to deal with stressful moments is important.

Stress Relieve Aid

Relieve Stress & Anxiety - Guided Meditation
Relieve Stress & Anxiety - Guided Meditation
Many had tried this and felt that it has helped a lot. Take control of your life.

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