Since yesterday’s post was Meditation slows aging, it seems only appropriate to follow it up with How stress affects your brain. Researcher Daniela Kaufer says that moderate or ‘good stress’—such as studying hard for an exam or training to compete in the Olympic Games—can build stronger circuitry and a more resilient brain. But acute, prolonged chronic stress wreaks havoc. “You’re creating a brain that’s either resilient or very vulnerable to mental disease, based on the patterning of white matter you get early in life,” said Kaufer.
The structure of your brain is constantly undergoing changes through plasticity. Neuroscience now shows that it is possible to change brain structure and function throughout your lifespan. You can consciously make daily choices of mindset and behavior that will improve the structure and connectivity of your brain. In other words, an old dog can learn new tricks. You are never too old to create new thought, new emotions and new behavior.
At Seattle Hypnosis with Roger Moore I have been teaching self-hypnosis and other neuroplasticity techniques since 1997, to people in Seattle, Bainbridge Island and in more recent years, world-wide via the internet. Using these mindfulness meditation tools, you have quick and effective stress management tools available to you at all times. Give me a call or send me an email now and discover how you can benefit from hypnosis for stress control.
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How stress affects your brain – Madhumita MurgiaPublished on Nov 9, 2015
Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.
Lesson by Madhumita Murgia, animation by Andrew Zimbelman.
Chronic Stress Can Damage Brain Structure and Connectivity
Psychology Today, February 12, 2014: Neuroscientists have discovered how chronic stress and cortisol can damage the brain. A new study reconfirms the importance of maintaining healthy brain structure and connectivity by reducing chronic stress.
Chronic stress has the ability to flip a switch in stem cells that turns them into a type of cell that inhibits connections to the prefrontal cortex, which would improve learning and memory, but lays down durable scaffolding linked to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Regular physical activity and mindfulness meditation are two effective ways to reduce stress and lower cortisol. Although this study doesn’t focus on the benefits of reducing cortisol, other research suggests that making lifestyle choices that reduce stress and lower cortisol can improve brain structure and connectivity.
According to the American Psychological Association, the longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body. You might feel fatigued, unable to concentrate or irritable for no good reason, for example. But chronic stress causes wear and tear on your body, too.
Stress can make existing problems worse. In one study, for example, about half the participants saw improvements in chronic headaches after learning how to stop the stress-producing habit of “catastrophizing,” or constantly thinking negative thoughts about their pain. Chronic stress may also cause disease, either because of changes in your body or the overeating, smoking and other bad habits people use to cope with stress. Job strain — high demands coupled with low decision-making latitude — is associated with increased risk of coronary disease, for example. Other forms of chronic stress, such as depression and low levels of social support, have also been implicated in increased cardiovascular risk. And once you’re sick, stress can also make it harder to recover. One analysis of past studies, for instance, suggests that cardiac patients with so-called “Type D” personalities — characterized by chronic distress — face higher risks of bad outcomes. (How Stress Affects Your Health)
Thanks to hypnosis for stress control, you do have a choice. Life will continue to hurl it’s stressors at you, but you can choose to be freaked out, stressed and anxious or you can acknowledge the events in life and remain calm and relaxed. If you choose calm and relaxed, give me a call or send me an email now from where ever you may live. Stress management hypnosis is here for you.
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