Brain Bulletin #5 - Stress Makes You Stupid

in Brain Bulletin

What is it that you do every week that literally makes you stupid?

You get stressed! When you stress, you release cortisol into your brain. This diminishes your brain power during the period of stress. Too much of this is bad for your brain, say researchers.

We all know that stress can make you anxious, uncomfortable, depressed, and tired. However, recent neurological studies reveal that too much stress can change the very structure and functioning of your cells. Bottom line: Stress can cause brain damage.

Some short term stress can actually be good for you. It may help you out run a bear, or improve athletic performance, or meet an important work deadline. But long term stress, that is so common today, can wear your brain down. Stress hormones can erode important neuronal connections which can lead to forgetfulness. Recent research has demonstrated that stress can actually shrink the hippocampus (the memory center of your brain). The loss actually looks a lot like stroke damage!

One more thing. Stress creates free radicals that kill brain cells. This is one more reason to eat that prune a day. Remember how good antioxidants are for your brain.

"Great!" you say. "Now I'm stressed about my stress!!" In the next Brain Bulletin I will share an amazing idea to reduce your stress. It really works.