Turn Stress On Its Head: How Stress Affects Our Brain

How Stress Affects Our Brain - michaelmantz ataxia blog4

Are you stressed?

Do you know how stress affects our and brain? 

I’ve addressed the idea of stress on this blog many times, but I feel it’s so important I’d like to consider it yet again.

So let’s dive into the topic of stress: what stress is, what happens in our bodies when we experience stress, how stress affects the brain, and most importantly, what we can do about it.

ARE YOU STRESSED OUT?

How do you know if you are experiencing stress?

For some people, the signs of stress are obvious. They get frazzled, feel overwhelmed, on edge, and their muscles tense. Sometimes stress manifests as anxiety, physical tension, emotional outbursts, or an overactive mind.

But did you realize that you may also be stressed if you struggle with exhaustion, digestive problems, or unexplained body aches?

So, if you feel exhausted all day every day, even after getting a decent night’s sleep, it may be due to excess or chronic stress and adrenal issues.

If the amount of stress you experience (your stress load) is greater than what your adrenal glands can manage. You can enter a state of stress-induced adrenal overload. This is one of the most common health issues in today’s society. Yet it is the most overlooked. 

Your adrenal glands are two small, triangular-shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They are often considered our “stress glands” because they produce certain hormones (like cortisol) in response to stress. They also help regulate our metabolism, affect our immune system function, control our blood pressure, play a role in our cognitive function, and help balance our hormones.

These stress glands, or adrenals, are most commonly known for helping the body cope with stress. They constitute a significant part of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis. Which is responsible for how we manage when things get tough. 

In other words, the HPA axis is the driving force behind the stress response.

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