On stress and brain.
Every time you perceive danger, your body responds. The brain sends a message to the adrenal gland to release a hormone called adrenaline.
The adrenal gland is an endocrine gland which means that the chemical it releases will circulate in the bloodstream.
The released adrenaline will then join the blood flow which in turn increases the sugar in the blood, increases heartbeat, and blood pressure.
Then the hypothalamus, a brain’s region, will send a signal to the pituitary gland. This gland will release factors that will stimulate the adrenal cortex that will result in cortisol secretion.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. It helps the body to generate more energy enough to escape the dangerous situation.
However, the prolonged amount of cortisol in the blood circulation will negatively affect the immune system. Furthermore, it can also damage the brain cells that may result in memory impairment.
In fact, in many cases, long-term stress could also cause stroke and heart attack.
The stress and brain
Studies in the past decades suggest that stress may harm the brain. Too much amount of cortisol will damage the cells in the hippocampus area which is responsible for memory storage.
In addition, several studies found that chronic stress can cause premature aging of the brain cells.
The stress hormone cortisol is essential for your survival. But too much of it is definitely harmful.
Chronic stress will also result in depression and other mental issues.
So how can you protect your brain from stress?
Relieving stress often involves medication. But a recent study found a very simple way to treat stress without spending a dime.
The researchers found that running can be tremendously helpful in kicking out the stress. In fact, the study suggests that running helps reverse the effect of stress on brain cells.
The leading author, Dr. Jeff Edwards explained the result. “Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on the memory of chronic stress,” Edwards said.
You can maximize learning if you are stress-free.
The application of this result can be huge for both academic and real-life situations.
To manage your stress and brain well, you have to find time to perform a simple physical activity such as running.
This is the simplest exercise that helps you stay psychologically and mentally healthy.
“It’s empowering to know that we can combat the negative impacts of stress on our brains just by getting out and running,” Edwards added.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.