Why Stress Damages Your Brain

Why is stress so detrimental for our brain? Learn why adrenalin and cortisol make your brain shrink and how you can stress less

You probably experienced how stress paralyzed you. "I can't think clearly."
Fear before a speech, you blanked out in a spelling contest…

Instead of finding solutions, you react irrationally.

However, the consequences of chronic stress are more severe. Constant overwhelm leads to brain shrinkage in certain areas.
Your brain produces stress hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol as well as a series of other steroids to prepare your body to fight or run.

The brain's activity shifts to an area where you're primarily focused and alert.

However, the brain isn't able to think logically and creative in this state.

Why Stress Damages Your Brain

What does chronic stress do to your brain?

If you're overworked or overwhelmed for a more extended period, your performance will decrease. Some people are more resilient than others; however, the brain needs phases of relaxation and rewards.
In these phases, the brain produces happy hormones.

Happy hormones can protect your nerves. If the brain continually produces stress hormones, certain areas can go into a decline.
Several studies attempt to make changes in the brain of chronically stressed people visible with different methods.

We can be sure of one thing: The brain matter suffers damage if an individual suffers from stress for an extended period.

We won't let that happen to you! Here are some simple, doable by you tips that help you to stress less (click the box on the right to enter full screen / exit to leave):

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How to avoid fighting on Christmas

how-to-avoid-fighting-around-christmas

Do we lose all Empathy around Christmas?

Martha is looking forward to the holidays. Every year, she starts to prepare early. From the finest decorations to recipes that tickle your taste buds in the most delightful way: Martha takes Christmas seriously. 

What she loves most is that it's the only time of the year when the whole family gets together. Even her parents fly in from Florida. 

She looks forward to her favorite holiday every year. Sadly, also every year what is supposed to be the festival of love turns into a huge fight. 

Last year was extremely bad: 

  • Martha was mad at everyone. She prepared for weeks and spent 2.5 days in the kitchen but nobody, really NOBODY, appreciated her hard work. Instead, everyone was complaining

  • Maurice, Martha's son, didn't hide how much he hated the whole thing. He was the only one of his friends who was forced to stay at home. All the others met for possibly the greatest party of the year. Nobody likes to be blackmailed. (In Martha's defense: she had no other choice than threatening that she wouldn't buy Maurice the car she promised for his 18th birthday)

  • Erin was crying for hours. She wanted a PlayStation. But her uncool parents bought an Xbox. An Xbox 360. Where did they even find it? In the "free stuff" section of Craigslist?

  • Martha's parents were seriously unhappy. They are not the youngest and traveling is exhausting. They came all the way from Florida to spend quality time with their daughter and grandchildren. The grandchildren were in a devilish mood while her daughter spent all of the time in the kitchen. They were stuck with Bill whom they never liked. Who`s Bill?

  • Bill, Martha's husband, has had it with Christmas. All he wants is a bit of silence and peace. Week-in, week-out he rushes from meeting to meeting and the last thing he wants to do in the little time he has to himself is entertaining grumpy in-laws, juggle ill-tempered kids and listen to horrible Christmas music

Would you like more Christmas music? Follow the link at the end of the post and order your free album with Christmas songs. 

around Christmas

Why do we argue and fight on holidays?

Not just around Christmas, but also on vacations and other holidays: Often what is supposed to be a wonderful time turns into a stressful event. 

Some of the nicest people I know turn into selfish monster who want to force their idea of an ideal vacation/holiday onto others. 

Why?

There are several reasons that lead to this, for instance:

  • Overblown expectations
  • We're not used to spend so much time together

How to avoid fighting on holidays

The most important tip: Stay emphatic. Just like the rest of the year. Also:

  1. Don't expect too much. You will not get along better with people than the rest of the year

  2. Try not to force your idea of a perfect Christmas onto others. Everyone should be able to contribute their ideas and who doesn't want to participate shouldn't be forced to

  3. Avoid fundamental debates. It's unlikely that you will find consent about a topic you disagreed on all year long at the Christmas table

  4.  If possible, split the work. Everyone could contribute and be responsible for a part of the Christmas festival

  5. Don't force people to spend hours and hours together if they don't want to. It will only lead to arguments

  6. Don't force them to do things they hate. For example: if your kids don't want to sing Christmas songs - don't make them

  7. Don't overdo it. It doesn't have to be a 6-course menu. Consider preparing something festive but simple so that you are not already stressed out when it begins

  8. Gifts are supposed to make people happy. If someone doesn't like their present, they should be allowed to say so. Keep in mind: It's not a rejection of your person

Procrastination around Christmas

An interesting phenomenon is procrastination around the Christmas. Are you interested in some effective tips how to eliminate it? 

I wrote an article for you about this last year and, if you prefer, you can also listen to the audio edition. 

Article: Killing time around Christmas

Last but not least (unless you ... like me ... dislike Christmas songs): You can order your free Christmas album HERE: Christmas Special: Free Album

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5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Simple Stress Relief Tools


Stress is everybody’s business. You could think you have it under control, but the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions. We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime. However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.

The body’s stress reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened, not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work. Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it. Do not rely on prescription meds, or consider them, as even though they may offer short-term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.

Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:

1. Exercise


Exercise has numerous benefits on physical health, but can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle. Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins, which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress. In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels, which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down). For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly, making sure to include weight bearing exercises.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate


Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right? However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else, but rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more, but also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress. Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of stress since what affects one person may not affect another. Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.

That said, the goodness comes from the cocoa and NOT the sugar. I love cocoa in combination with spice, for instance in sauces.

3. Try A Massage


Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed? Simple, because it works! Stress is much more than “psychological”, as its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.

A massage can help address some of the manifestations of stress, such as pain and tension. Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure, which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more. Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy, with blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain. Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking, as it has been documented to have a profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

4. Meditate


Meditation should be taught in schools. There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation, yet most people do not practice any sort of.

Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science, but at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present. Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden, and meditation perfectly helps to eliminate worry of the future or past.

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time


The number one enemy of stress is fun. Laughter is the best medicine after all, as it can do miracles, ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses, and helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun, which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral. Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Isn't that the best reason to be silly ever?

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How NeuroWisdom101 by Mark Waldman helps you

 

Neuroscience a tool for Stress relief?

The biggest impediment to productivity is stress. Ironically, striving for more productivity actually causes more stress, and more stress hinders your productivity, leaving you in a vicious cycle. Stress can be really destructive and is the cause of various physical and mental problems. Most people prescribe medicines for stress, and yet others describe therapies. However, these two are on two opposite ends, and one is too effective (side-effects), and the other isn't effective at all. You need something in the middle, which can eliminate stress while not causing additional side-effects.
Another option would be to spend a 6-week vacation on a beautiful island and leave all stress behind. For one, most of us do not have the option to take a break like that and secondly, the stress would catch up with you again shortly after you go back to your regular life.

How Negativity causes more Stress

Negative thoughts are one of the causes of stress, and you need to eliminate negativity in your life in order to eliminate stress. But thinking of doing it is one thing, and actually eliminating negativity is a whole other ballgame. Negativity isn't something you eliminate in an instant. It takes some time to bring the factors into place that help remove this negativity.
Often, we are not even aware that we are thinking negative thoughts. "I will not fail again" is a very negative thought giving your brain all of the wrong signals.

Positive thinking can be (re-)learned.

Once again, you need a cure for negativity, which in turn would cure your stress. While yes, there are measures that help you reduce your stress, they are all temporary. They don't eliminate the stress, but they reduce the effects of it. For example, think of stress as a tree. You can keep cutting the branches of the tree, but over time, these branches will grow back.
If you attack the root, however, the tree does not grow back. Similarly, stress has effects, and you can reduce these effects, but they will keep coming back. But if you eliminate the root problems themselves, stress is eliminated. You feel fresher. More positive. More productive.And all this can be done by a little brain training. Basically, you need a way to help your brain cope with problems. A way to eliminate negative thoughts. A way towards a more positive lifestyle that empowers you, and more importantly, a lifestyle without stress.

What NeuroWisdom101 brings to the table

Here is why I recommend Mark Waldman´s NeuroWisdom101: With in-depth neuroscience researcher Mark Robert Waldman at its helm, and it using various brain techniques and exercises over a period of 8 weeks, you can really eliminate the root causes of your stress.
Indeed, these techniques are scientific in nature and have been derived from years of research, and thousands of satisfied customers are a testament to the effectiveness of Neuroscience 101. Without stress, you can lead a better life, physically, mentally and socially. You see, stress doesn't just strain you mentally, but its effects pass down physically, and guess what happens when you are physically and mentally drained? Your social and work life is affected. Stress creeps into every part of your life Indeed, instead of spending thousands of dollars on a treatment that is just temporary, why not spend money on a treatment that is more permanent and more effective, and more importantly, doesn't have any side-effects? Forget medicines. Forget therapies. Forget everything else. You do not need it.
Train your brain using Neuroscience 101. It is backed up by a money-back-guarantee and Mark Waldman explicitly asks for you to return it if it is not the best neuro scientific program you have ever discovered.
You have nothing to lose - but a lot to gain.

Where to get NeuroWisdom101

A free e-book is available for you (look on the side of this blog).
Or go directly to the program: HEREMark Waldman´s TEDx speech:

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