6 Ways Stress Is Affecting Your Brain Health And Ways To Improve

Last Update on October 3, 2023 : Published on October 3, 2023
6 Ways Stress Is Affecting Your Brain Health And Ways To Improve

Do you know stress can be good and bad? Accordingly, good stress helps us build interpersonal relationships, improve resilience, provide cognitive benefits, and more. What does the bad stress do? Of course, it affects our overall well-being but do you know that stress can affect your brain health negatively too?

Stress is an inevitable part of our life, dealing with stress on a regular basis can be overwhelming because each time we struggle with stress, our brain health is negatively affected. When the stress hormone is released in our body, our brain goes through a lot of reactions (some good, some bad).

In some situations, good stress helps in improving our ability to remember important details while bad stress can result in mental health issues. In this blog, let us find out how stress affects our brain health and how we can improve it. So, let’s get started! 

6 Ways Stress Affects Brain Health 

Ways Stress Affects Brain Health

1. Stress results in mental health issues.

Research shows that chronic stress can play a major role in the development of chronic mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and more. Long-term stress can cause brain changes due to which people become more prone to anxiety or mood disorders

2. Stress changes brain structure.

Have you ever heard of gray matter? Well, let me keep it simple, Gray matter is an important part of the brain that is responsible for problem-solving or decision-making. Similarly, our brain also contains white matter which contains myelin. Whenever we struggle with chronic stress, our brain overproduces myelin and this can change brain structuring. People struggling with PTSD often show imbalances in white and gray matter. 

3. Stress kills brain cells.

Yes, chronic stress can indeed kill brain cells. Research shows that when stress hormones are released in our body, they can destroy the neurons in our brain (especially those that are newly formed). Chronic stress can also put a halt or limit the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. This can negatively impact our learning, emotions, and memory. Evidence shows that such situations can also put us at risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. 

4. Stress results in brain shrinking. 

As mentioned above stress kills brain cells and chronic stress can also result in brain shrinking. This often leads to difficulty in regulating memories, emotions, and metabolism. This situation is generally seen in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. 

5. Stress reduces memory capacity.

Do you know that even minor stress can directly impact your memory? For example, have you ever been in a stressful situation, wherein you forgot where you left your belongings? Chronic stress affects our spatial memory and it can also result in short-term memory loss if not treated or managed on time. 

6. Stress impacts cognitive functioning.

As I mentioned above, all stress is not bad! Moderate stress or good stress can help in improving your brain performance. Research shows that moderate stress results in brain strengthening. This is why some people can perform better under pressure. 

Quick Strategies to Protect Your Brain Health from Stress

Quick Strategies to Protect Your Brain Health from Stress  

1. Focus on resolving the situation:

In order to protect your well-being and brain from the negative effects of the brain, try to focus on resolving the stressful situation instead of stressing over it. In this way, you will be able to improve your cognitive functioning and increase your resilience power

2. Get organized and focus on maintaining your workload:

A major percentage of our stress comes from the workload. In such situations, try to be more organized, follow a strict routine, and focus on the important tasks first in this way, you will be able to strengthen your brain health as well. 

3. Shift your outlook towards positivity:

Whenever you get into a stressful situation, try to shift your outlook towards positivity so that you can work more on problem-solving and decision-making. This strategy can also improve your overall well-being. 

4. Try brain training exercises:

Make brain training exercises a regular practice and you will see how instantly you’ll be able to solve problems in your life. 

5. Get professional help:

If you are not able to maintain your stress levels, don’t worry, you can always seek the help of a mental health professional to talk about your emotions, feelings, and stressful experiences. A mental health professional can also help you teach stress management techniques. 

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Wrapping Up 

Now, you might be able to understand how chronic stress is impacting your brain health and how to protect your mental health from chronic stress. Many of you asked, does a small amount of stress also occur in brain problems? Well, I did some research about it and I found various documents that clearly state “The more you get into stress, the worse it gets.”

This sentence proves that short-term stress can affect our mental health but generally long-term stress is worse. Therefore, next time you see yourself stuck in stressful situations, you can refer to the below-listed blogs for instant stress relief or stress management: 

I hope this blog helps you understand brain problems caused by stress. Comment down and share your views on the same. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms. 

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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