Is stress shrinking your brain? Here is what you need to know
- Chronic stress can actually take a toll on your brain health
- People with higher cortisol had lower brain volume
- One of the easiest ways to beat stress is by socializing
Have you been stressing too much lately? Well, think again. A study published in the Neurology has found that chronic stress can actually take a toll on your brain health – when you take a lot of stress, the volume of the grey matter in the human brain decreases. The grey matter includes the brain regions responsible for muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, and self-control.
The researchers compared people’s cortisol levels, memory, attention and brain volume. It was found that people with higher cortisol had lower brain volume when compared to people with lower cortisol levels. Women were found to be more affected than men.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a stress hormone and it helps us control stressful situations, however, too much stress can be detrimental to the brain.
What can you do?
One of the best ways to avoid such a problem is by beating stress to the curb. But what exactly should you do? Here are some tips for you deal with stress:
Socialise: One of the best and the easiest ways to beat stress is by socializing as it can keep you busy and away from the turmoil.
Ample sleep: An average of 6-8 hours of sleep is required to avoid or reduce stress.
Less amount of caffeine: Cutting on your caffeine intake is also important to manage stress as it can quickly raise your attendant stress hormones.
Discuss: Talk about your problems with someone you trust. It is better to discuss your issues than sit alone and think about stressful situations.
A balanced diet: Your diet has a lot to do with your stress levels. What you eat is directly proportionate to how to feel. Give your body enough fuel to function properly.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Dec 21, 2018
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