By TERRY SMALL
Too much stress, over a long period of time is not good for your brain. Stress raises cortisol levels in your brain which, given enough time, can lead to cell death. Richard Saunders puts it this way, “Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea.” Indeed. There seems to plenty of stress going around these days. And, you can blame it on the watermelon. At least that’s what Judith thought.
Stress is often the result of an overloaded, hurried brain. This article is a timely reminder that brains benefit from “down time”. During summer in Vancouver I took some time off. I noticed an immediate uptick in my health, vitality, and happiness. I also thought better and my memory improved.
Here are some suggestions to try:
· Unplug more often. Try and go tech free for one hour a day.
· Get out into nature more. Walk. Hike. Bike. Sit in a park.
· Deal with “stuff” directly. Focus on finding a solution.
· Stop complaining. Change it, or change the way you think about it.
· Breathe deeply. Especially when you notice you’re stressed.
· Spend time with co-workers away from work.
· Listen to calming music. My favourite is baroque.
· Easy on the caffeine.
· Drink more water. Dehydrated brains don’t do well.
One more thing:
Did you know that a 20-second hug causes your brain to release oxytocin? (Oxytocin helps your mood by suppressing anxiety and depression.)
Hey, “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Congratulations on learning something about your brain today. The Brain Bulletin is committed to help to do just that.
Always remember: “You are a genius!”
Enjoy your brain.