Knowing the ways in which stress deteriorates the brain, generates a greater awareness to avoid it, and throughout the article, we will talk about this.
In some cases, it is possible that stress is beneficial since it consists of a physiological response that has the purpose of helping us to adapt to certain situations.
An example of such situations is the stress generated by having to face a sporting competition or examination, as it provides a higher level of energy and could even offer a better ability to focus.
However, as it is chronic stress, over time it deteriorates the brain and generates various changes in it.
In this sense, both work overload and discussions are examples of situations that generate a high level of stress and consequently, produce alterations in cell function and structure, as well as an impact on the genetic information of the brain.
Stress generates a great Loss of Neurons
Nowadays, stress is something very common that not only affects the mood of people but also alters the proper functioning of the organs due to the great hormonal change it generates.
In those individuals who have high levels of glucocorticoids, the hormones that are discharged during times of high stress, experience a greater loss of neurons in the brain hippocampus, so their memory is affected.
It can even be said that the brains of those with a high level of stress tend to age in less time than those of people who have a much quieter lifestyle.
It’s Possible to Avoid Stress, Easily
For many people, avoiding stress is an impossible task because just placing a foot outside their homes begins to feel stressed, which is basically because in doing so you have to face many everyday problems, such as complicated work situations, children, and so on.
However, avoiding stress is completely possible.
In order to achieve this it is necessary to take a moment of the day to breathe and clear our minds, which can be done by listening to music, playing sports and/or reading, because by doing what we like, it is possible to relax and significantly reduce stress levels.
Ways the Brain is Affected by Stress
When facing stressful situations, our brain experiences diverse reactions with the purpose of activating its defense mechanisms in order to stay protected from possible threats.
Among the adverse effects that can generate stress on the body, the most unknown is usually those caused in the brain, which is why we mention several of them below:
Destroys brain cells
Experiencing a single stressful event could destroy several neurons in the hippocampus, which consists of the area of the brain linked to learning, memory, and emotions, as well as being one of the areas in which new neurons form throughout life.
Increases the risk of developing mental illnesses
It is known that chronic stress could cause long-term brain changes, which explains the fact that individuals who suffer from chronic stress are often the most likely to develop mood disorders or anxiety throughout their lives.
Stress generates a greater number of myelin-producing cells, although it produces a smaller number of cells than is appropriate, resulting in an excessive amount of myelin, which alters the balance and synchronization of communication between different areas of the brain.
That is why it is considered that stress can play an essential role in the development of mental illnesses, such as depression for example, and even in the appearance of various emotional disorders.
Decreases the size of the brain
Experiencing high levels of chronic stress generates a contraction in the areas of the brain that are linked to metabolism, self-control, memory and the regulation of emotions.