Stressing too much? Heres how it can affect your brain
We are all living in a time when stress has become part and parcel of our daily lives. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we’ll always find something to stress about: your work, studies, finances, relationships, etc. The growing stress could be partly due to the modern lifestyle that calls for the need for constant connectivity and demanding schedules that often lead to work-life imbalance and partly due to our personal circumstances. We all understand how overwhelming stress can be, but what many people do not know is that stress can negatively impact your brain health. In this blog, by the best Neurology Doctor in Gurgaon, we have explored the different ways in which stress affects our brains and some coping mechanisms that might come in handy.
Stress and your brain
The human brain, although complex, is quite fascinating and one of the most important organs in our body, that controls all the vital functions. It is basically the control unit of our body. Stress, however, can affect the brain’s ability to function optimally and this is the reason why, when we are stressed, we find it difficult to do simple tasks, keep forgetting things and find it difficult to control our emotions. The best Neurologist Doctor in Gurgaon suggests that when we stress about something, our body releases the hormone cortisol, our glucose levels spike, our heart rate increases and so does the flow of blood to the muscles in the limbs, however when the stress is chronic, all these things tend to happen constantly, giving rise to problems that can affect your digestion, sleep cycle and even weaken your immune system.
Different ways in which stress affects your brain
- Problems Related to Memory - Chronic stress can impair your memory. Yes, you read that right. Research has shown that people who are under constant stress tend to forget things very easily. They find it difficult to remember important dates, events, names, numbers and so on. You might have noticed that when you stress about reaching somewhere late, you often forget something important. This is probably due to the short-term decline in memory triggered by the increased levels of cortisol.
- Increased Susceptibility to Mental Illnesses - As per the best neurologist in Gurgaon, people who stress a lot are more likely to develop psychological deficits. You may have noticed that under stress people often tend to be more anxious and moody. It could be due to the fact that stress can lead to decreased production of neurons and increased production of Schwann cells. The latter is responsible for secreting myelin and excessive production of the same can prevent the flow of informative signals between brain cells.
- Altered Brain Structure- Did you know that stress can lead to changes in the structure of your brain? Surprising, isn’t it? Well, it’s true. Our brain is made up of grey and white matter. The former plays a crucial role in our ability to make decisions and solve problems, whereas the latter serves as a medium for the transmission of signals. Chronic stress can lead to the increased production of white matter and decreased production of grey matter, which creates an imbalance between the two, leading to structural changes in the brain.
- Damage to the Brain Cells - When your brain is constantly under stress, it can trigger an inflammatory response. Chronic stress can result in long-term inflammation, which gradually destroys the brain cells, resulting in the decline of cognitive function and mental abilities.
By now, you must have understood how stress can impact your brain and why we should not take it lightly. It is important to build a proper coping mechanism by sticking to some simple habits. These include:
- Identify the source of your stress
- Practice yoga and relaxation techniques
- Stay physically active
- Try to stick to a routine
- Get proper sleep
- Vent out your feelings
- Seek help and go for counselling
- Prioritise self-care
To know more about stress and its effective management, consult the best Neurologist Doctor in Gurgaon, today.
Dr. Sunil Singla, Director and Head of the Department
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