Almost half of all adults have a problem with stress. And the numbers are getting worse, with 40% of adults saying their stress level has increased over the past five years.
Most of your body’s systems are adversely affected by stress.
Stress will shrink your brain. Stress causes the formation of cortisol in the brain which destroys brain cells. If you are under constant stress your brain will shrink in size.
It is false to think we use 10% of our brain, we use 100% of our brain. Less brain means less thoughts, less memory, less analytical ability.
Studies have shown that stress reduces your immunity system. People under stress suffer more diseases from colds and flu to cancer than those who are not under stress.
Prolonged stress releases inflammatory chemicals. Inflammation contributes to the formation of plaque in your arteries. This increases the threat of a heart attack and stroke.
One way to relax is to listen to soothing music or sounds.
I have a number of CDs with soothing nature sounds. I get mine from Amazon.com
So sit back relax and enjoy some nature.
See the post below on how Stress Affects the Brain.
Sleep is the state of absent consciousness and the inactivity of the voluntary muscles. On average we spend one-third of our life we spend sleeping.
Sleep is vital since for rest of the physical body. Four to five hours of sleep is needed to replenish your physical body from an intense physical active day. You need seven to eight hours of sleep to replenish the mind after a mentally intense day.
Sleep both lack of it and excess has effects to ones brain in many ways, sleep assist in regenerating certain parts of the body. Sleep is vital for the regeneration of neurons, formation of new memories, and formation of new synaptic connections.
Lack of sleep has adverse effects on the memory. Sleep is required for the consolidation of a memory (remembering what it is supposed to remember). Lack of sleep causes the brain to have a harder time absorbing and recalling new information. Sleep affects how our brain stores information.
Studies have shown that sleep enhances memory. During sleep, the brain forms new permanent and semi-permanent memories. In one study, they split college students into two groups. One group crammed all night for a test on the next day. The second group studied until their normal bad time, got a good night’s sleep. The second group – which got a good night’s sleep – far outperformed the first group – which stayed up all night studying.
Research has shown that a good sleep enhances ones performance in any field and makes things easier to recall. During sleep the hippocampus replays the events of the day for the neocortex. While asleep, the brain organizes the information that flooded in during the waking hours.
Adequate sleep has proved to benefit the brain development/function. The healing power of sleep contributes to neurogenesis, the formation of new nerve cells to the brain. Lack of sleep means neurons may not have the time to repair all the damage cause during the day.
Lack of sleep causes your brain to work harder and accomplishing less. Sleep deprivation affects how well the brain performs. The situation becomes even worse when an individual is trying to do high level tasks. The tasks will have serious consequences both with the task performed and the way your brain is functioning.
A study suggests sleep deprivation causes part of the brain to over worked. This is especially important in the prefrontal cortex. The area supporting mental faculties such as working memory and practical reasoning. The cortex displayed more activity in the people with enough rest.
Sleep associated with several brain deceases and disorder. A study discovered patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea showed brain grey matter loss. The tissue loss occurred in the region of the brain that controls speech production. These individuals have the problem of stuttering or speech impairment. Their temporal lobe (brain region involved in language) was not activated in them. Healthy brains ranged from 2% to 18% larger in these areas than individuals with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea patients show subtle brain damage including problem with memory, thoughts and motor skills.
Apart from not getting enough rest there is also the problem of oversleeping that affects the brain. Oversleeping does cause the brain to age, too much sleep can cause the brain age by up to seven years. A research found 7-8% of people who slept more than 6 to 8 hours a night scored poorly on memory, reasoning and vocabulary tests.
During sleep the prefrontal (the genius within us) comes out allowing for maximum creativity. Many people have slept on a problem and find the answer in the morning. Elias Howe (the inventor of the sewing machine) said he had solved the problem of the machines needle when he dreamt of an attack by warriors carrying spears with holes in the tip. Also Paul McCartney said that he came up with the melody for yesterday while sleeping.
Sleep is crucial in the development and maintenance of brain functions. Both the quality and quantity of sleep plays a major role in the brains foundation of everyday learning and memory.
Plays a key role in an individual immune function
Promotes physical health and emotional well being
Helps repair the body
Do you find it hard to get to sleep no matter how fatigued you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously waiting for sleep? Insomnia is the failure to sleep or too much wakening from sleep that spoils or inhibits daily activities. Sleeplessness has a negative effect on your vigor, disposition, well-being, and ability to function during the day. Prolonged insomnia can lead to severe health problems. Sleeplessness is noticed when one has inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following:
i. trouble falling asleep,
ii. waking up repeatedly during the night with trouble returning to sleep,
iii. waking up too early, and
iv. non-refreshing sleep.
Changing your way of life and daily routines can put a stop to sleepless nights. Below are the effective cures for insomnia.
- Calm your mind. Anxieties, anger, worries, depression and edginess are recipe for insomnia. To ensure that you get quality sleep, put your mind to rest; let go of whatever that happened contrary to your expectation or desire. Dispel the anger, misgiving and frustration you encountered during day and do not worry overly on what tomorrow shall bring.
- Being healthy is a key to a good night’s sound sleep and working out can help with that. Try to work out often, but do it during the day or several hours before bedtime; because working out just before going to bed will only impede sleep because your heartbeat rate will be increased and that will keep you awake.
- Refrain from caffeine or liquor in the evening and check your daily intake. Caffeine will stimulate your body system and make it extremely challenging to sleep, while liquor will hinder you from getting sound sleep your body desire.
- Avoid eating heavily in the evening and eat at least three hours before bedtime. If your stomach is filled with much food, your system will be tasked to perform digestion. Consequently, you will not get the sound sleep you need to feel reinvigorated.
- Abstain from sleeping during the day; take a walk instead, as you would find it difficult at night to fall asleep. Reduce sleeping frequently during the day so as not to remain alert all through the night.
- If you are not sleepy, do not go to bed. Read a book or listen to some soft music until you start to feel sleepy. Going to bed when you not feeling sleepy will only make you restless and create anxiety.
- If your bed is excessively hard or soft, or if your pillows are not just right, you may experience a hard time trying to sleep. Get the right mattress and pillows that will ensure comfort for your body. Being comfortable is a prerequisite to having sound sleep.
- At times, sleeplessness can result from being woken frequently by loud noises. Often, the sleeper is not cognizant of what awoke them. Try to sleep in a quieter room, or fix earplugs. The best sleep atmosphere is one that is dark, silent, comfortable, and serene. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Do not work, eat, watch television or argue with your bed partner. This will send signals to your brain when you enter the room that “It’s time for romance or sleep”.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Do not work, eat, watch television or argue with your bed partner. This will send signals to your brain when you enter the room that “It’s time for romance or sleep”.
- Practice breathing exercise as a relaxation technique. Many people do not breathe as deeply as they should. Breathe fully to involve not only your chest but also diaphragm, the lower back and the ribcage. This is called abdominal breathing and it helps relaxation. Shut your eyes and take deep, full and slow breaths. Make each breath go deeper than the previous. Breathe in with your nose and out through your mouth.
- Move the clock in your bedroom out of sight. Intently observing as the minutes tick by when you are yet to fall asleep, knowing that you will be exhausted when the alarm goes off, is a guaranteed pointer to sleeplessness. If you would use an alarm, ensure you place it where you cannot see the time when you are in bed.
- Listen to special music or audio CD that will re-chart your brain wave pattern to slow down. You can re-program your brain and teach it to prepare for sleep. It has been scientifically proven that brainwaves have an electrical signal that can be shown on a chart created by an electroencephalograph, EEG. The waking brainwave form is quite dissimilar to their sleeping brainwave form. When audio signals from the new sleep CD are perceived, the brain actually corrects its form in consideration of the rhythm of the sleep CD. The brain then creates new trails for these forms to be remembered, and once that is done, it is not forgotten.
Insomnia can be a key factor in causing you stress.
The neurotransmitter serotonin which makes us feel good is made from an essential amino acid called Tryptophan. An essential amino acid is an acid that the body cannot make it on its own but required for proper body function. You must get it from your diet, and you must be able to metabolize proteins in your stomach.
Serotonin metabolizes into melatonin, the neurotransmitter that helps us sleep. So if you don’t get Tryptophan or are unable to break it down due to poor stomach function, you will not be able to make serotonin nor melatonin and will wind up with sleep issues and possibly depression.
If you are not getting Tryptophan in your diet and/or have poor stomach function – are not able to break down and absorb nutrients. If you are malnourish (low on vitamins) can be why your stomach cannot break down foods and absorb nutrients properly. This may be common be common among gastric bypass patients due to the bypassing of a portion of the small intestine.
This is one possible cause of insomnia, there are many.
Talk to your doctor about your insomnia, they know it is important to your health.
People can get stressed for many reasons during their lifetime for instance a kid getting stressed because of rejection or a man having stress because financial problems with his family. Stress is defined as an organism total response to an environmental condition or stimuli, it is a negative condition that can impact an organism physical well being, and stress is the body reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. although stress is an integral part of our lives, but researchers have found that everyday stress can lead to change in the brain that makes us more vulnerable to mental as well as social disorder ranging from depression to addiction and behavioral condition The body reacts to these challenges with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Some of the brain related symptoms of stress include constant worrying, poor judgment, memory problems, anxious and racing thoughts, inability to concentrate, seeing only the negative amongst others among these effects is that to the brain (Sapolsky RM 1996)
Stress affects the brain in many ways, stress can kill the brain, it has been found that at high levels the hormones released during the stress response, cortisol kill brain cells. Prolonged exposure to Glucocorticoids also seems to reduce the brains ability to create new connection to other brain cells mostly seen in the area of Hippocampus part of the brain that controls memory, stress hormones divert blood glucose to exercising muscle, therefore the amount of glucose reaching the blood hypothalamus is diminished, this ultimately leads to one unable to create new memories. Stress also leads to temporally memory loss
The ability to concentrate, plan, learn quickly, think ahead and act decisively has been compromised as a result of long term floods of stress hormone into the body and brain, long term stress anxiety and depression have been linked with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact research suggests that long term stress stimulates the growth of the proteins that cause Alzheimer’s and that can lead to memory loss. Also chronic stress can cause the loss of brain volume, a condition that contributes to both emotional and cognitive impairment a single generic switch that trigger loss of the brain connection in human research found that generic switch known as transcription factor represses the expression of several genes that are necessary for the formation of synaptic connection between brain cells which in turn could contribute to loss of brain mass in the prefrontal cortex. , (McEwen BS 1997)
Impacts of stress on peoples brain health is affected by other behavior that can harm the brain overeating, consumption of alcohol, smoking cigarettes all these increase the risk of damage to the brain in the form of a stroke.
The effects of stress on the memory includes interference with ones capacity to encodes and ability retrieve information, when an individual encounters stress , the body reacts by Secretin stress hormones into the blood stream , over secretion of these hormone most frequently affects the brain negatively the hormone responsible for this is Glucocorticoids , this hormone facilitates and impairs the Hippocampus by preventing one from being able to form a new memory and retrieving an existing memory . Stress affects many memory functions and cognitive functioning of the brain
A study has indicated that male humans like rats, don’t do most of their agile thinking under stress. The study shows that a healthy person is able to come up with very good solutions when faced with problems or solving one as compared to an individual who is stressed out thus it is very clear that stress disrupts ones thinking- that stress also impairs performance on attention shifting tasks and diminish activity in the medical Prefrontal cortex
Stress can lead to a severe medical condition where it increases the ability of chemicals to pass through the blood brain barriers, the ability of stress to pass through the blood brain barrier has enormous implications since most medicines do not enter the brain
Stress has also been seen as a cause of brain fog, this is poor mental function associated with confusion, forgetting things and difficulty in actual thinking, it is basically a feeling confusion and luck of factualness. The increase brain activity makes a person reacts faster to situations , thus with lots of pressure means greater increase in brain activity Stress overstimulated the brain thus creating a problem when it is time to cool off. With this kind of hyperactivity in the brain ones thoughts and memory impaired ultimately leading to a brain fog.
Long term Stress is also the cause of brain damage. When one has chronic stress (the response of emotional pressure injured for a long period where an in individual has no control) the brain gets a lot of an enzyme that damages the dendritic spines. Studies have shown that stress might promote brain cancer indirectly by weakening the immune system defense or by bringing on new tumor feeding blood vessel to form thus making it very easy for malignant tumors to grow and spread. Although unclear mental stress is believed to be a cause of brain tumor
Stress has a lot of impact in the development of the brain this is so because any physical or emotional sate of the mother will always directly or indirectly have effect on the unborn child, scientist have found that exposure to maternal stress can at times have harmful effects or damage on the fetus that depending on the duration and intensity of the stress, this has a negative impact on the fetus brain. An expectant mother experiencing stress which results to hormonal and immune system changes which will directly affects the fetus brain development (Gïedd & Jeffries, 1999). Pre-ternal stress leads to the infants brain problems including;
I. Lower scores on matters of mental development- this can be attributed to the fact that stress does impairs learning, sustained stress can damage the brain hippocampus making it difficult to learn something new, study shows that stressed person or animal has the problem of retaining what they have learned.
II. Problem with being attentive and being focused
III. Poor scores in school amongst others
Stress is also believed to contribute to the development of brain aneurysm this is a serious medical condition defined by bulge in a vessel in the brain caused by a weakening of the vessels wall. Ione of the prescribed ways to help avoid aneurysm is the management of the stress level
Stress is also another reason for brain degeneration; this is basically the wearing out of some parts of the brain, through a lot of exposure accelerates the wearing out of hippocampus which is part of the feedback mechanism that signals when to stop cortisol production thus compromising one memory and the aging cycle continues
Thus it is highly crucial to try and manage stress by trying to reduce, prevent and cope with it so you can avoid the risk that comes with it, a number of ways that can help is via.
- Practicing meditation-meditation gives one a sense of calm, peace and balance that help in dealing with stressful situations, when one meditates it clears away the information overloads that builds up that leads up to stress.
- Seeking counseling-councilors’ help one understand what the problem is really is and how to go about it
- Maintaining a strong social network
- Using soft ball to relieve daily pressure.
If you want your kids to live a short and stupid life, let them play football, soccer or box. Brain injury is extremely common in all of these sports.
You will doom your child to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE symptoms are similar to Alzheimer and Parkinson disease.
Most high school football programs require a child not to play for a month after being knocked out – the shake it off mentality. They should never be allowed to play again if knocked out – no exceptions. Sever brain damage has occurred, letting them play again will only worsen the damage.
Physical activity is important for children and adults. Find something that does not involve hitting of the head.