Seven Effective Ways To Safeguard Your Brain Against Stress
Published: November 13, 2023

Living with stress has severe consequences for our emotional and physical well-being. However, many of us struggle to find effective ways of reducing it. Researchers at Yale University have discovered why this is the case. They found that stress literally shrinks the areas of the brain responsible for self-control. This means that experiencing stress makes it harder for us to combat future stress because it decreases our ability to take control of the situation and manage our stress effectively. It creates a vicious cycle.

But don’t lose hope. It is possible to reduce our stress levels; we need to prioritize managing stress if we want to reverse its effects. The brain can change and rebuild damaged areas by practicing new behaviors. By implementing healthy stress-relieving techniques, we can train our brains to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of adverse effects in the future.

Here are some recommendations to help you keep your stress under control and improve your brain function:

1. Say no: Difficulty saying no increases the likelihood of experiencing stress, burnout, and depression. Learn to use the power of “no” without fear. Being clear on your values and priorities will help you be decisive and prioritize your existing commitments by saying no to new ones.¬†

2. Unplug: Constant communication through technology makes it challenging to have stress-free moments outside of work. Taking regular breaks from technology helps control stress and allows you to live in the present moment. Try going offline during weekends or specific blocks of time to give your body and mind a break.

3. Reduce or eliminate interaction with challenging individuals: ¬†Control your interactions with toxic individuals by keeping your emotions in check. Approach confrontations rationally, consider their perspective, and find common ground. Don’t let them bring you down.

4. Let go of grudges: Holding onto grudges triggers a stress response in our bodies. Not holding onto past events that cause stress is essential for our health. Holding onto stress has been shown to contribute to the development of high blood pressure and heart disease. Learn to let go and improve your overall well-being.

5. Develop increasing consciousness: By becoming more aware of our feelings, thoughts, and actions, we gain more control of our behaviors. Being mindful improves focus and reduces the feeling of being out of control. It prevents negative thoughts from taking over and helps us navigate our busy days calmly and productively.

6. Change your perspective: Our worries often come from our skewed perception of events. Please take a moment to put situations in perspective before dwelling on them. Look for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. Reframe the situation by listing specific things that are going wrong. Remember that your feelings are exaggerating the situation.

7. Seek support from others: Tackling everything alone is ineffective. Recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when needed. Seek insights and assistance from those in your support system. Talking about your worries provides an outlet for anxiety and offers a fresh perspective. Asking for help mitigates anxiety and strengthens relationships.

Implementing these strategies may be challenging when your mind is clouded with stress. However, forcing yourself to try them during overwhelming moments will lead to the benefits of disciplined stress management.

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