‘Your brain doesn’t just ‘fog’ under stress: it shrinks

Don’t let stress get to you. Stress kills brain cells and impairs your thinking. A recent article compiles research that suggests that chronic stress has long-term consequences for the brain. Stress can cause more anxiety, health issues, and even shrink your brain. Luckily, you can strengthen your brain and resilience for fighting stress.

Stress is a common part of life. For most people, stress tends to come and go. Unfortunately, those who face constant stress also face a long list of negative consequences. An article on Verywell Mind compiled the latest research on the effects of stress on the brain.

One study found that stress leads to long-term changes in the brain. It can increase your risk of mental illness and anxiety. It also limits your ability to cope with stress, leading to a cycle of negative thoughts. Researchers found that stress limits the production of neurons. It also increases the production of myelin-producing cells. These changes interfere with certain areas of the brain, leading to negative health risks.

Studies also show that chronic stress alters the brain’s structure. The overproduction of myelin caused by stress interferes with neural networks in the brain. It alters the balance between grey and white matter. This may impact your decision-making and problem-solving skills.


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Yet, one of the most shocking discoveries was that stress kills brain cells. The hippocampus is the area of the brain connected to emotion, learning, and memory. It is also the area where you form new brain cells. Stress limits the ability of new cells to survive, essentially limiting your ability to learn and grow. Another study found that chronic stress also limits spatial memory. Spatial memory is your ability to recall information. So, if you’re frequently forgetful and struggle to concentrate, you may be suffering from chronic stress. You can read more about the ways that stress affects your brain here.

What can you do about the stress in your life? Try NLP. Neuro-linguistic programming is a growing area of positive psychology. It offers a variety of exercises for increasing resilience. You can gain the mental stamina needed to avoid letting stress get to your head. NLP anchoring is one of the most used NLP techniques for fighting stress. It helps you create positive responses that you can pull from when you experience stress, fear, or anxiety.

Anchors are often words, gestures, or images that create positive thoughts. When a difficult situation arises, you use the anchor to calm your mind. It helps you relax and focus on the present. After creating an anchor, you can use it as needed as a stress relief tool. You can even create different anchors for dealing with a variety of situations or environments.

Stress can negatively impact almost every area of your life, but it’s something that you can learn to overcome. NLP techniques can equip your brain with the tools needed to let go of the fear and anxiety that creates stress. You can learn more about NLP by exploring my one-to-one coaching services and online courses at https://thinklearnsucceed.com.au/