Learn about the relationship between stress and mental health
How Stress Affects Your Brain
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.
Stress is complex and unique to each of us. The feelings we associate with stress often come from a direct experience of threat or worry that something bad might happen. When the brain perceives a situation as threatening, a cascade of physiological changes take place, commonly known as the stress response. This physiological response is universal, but our preceptions of what constitutes a threat vary widely.
- Focus on Social Support
Maintain and nurture the social connections you already have. It's too easy for many of us to work more and connect less but time spent connecting with friends or family can help us feel stronger and better able to tackle our work.
- Widen Your Perspective
Consider looking at things from a different view, with fresh eyes. Being open to new ideas actually makes us feel better than always being right. It also opens us up to better opportunities and connections.
- Have Outlets
Identify a few outlets that make you feel better; things that are important to you. This could be anything from regular exercise, to time with friends, or a few moments of quiet
- Gain a Sense of Control
Take notice of the areas in your life that you have some control over. Maybe it's what you consume, the time you go to bed, or what you read on the internet. Consider making more conscious choices for yourself in these areas.