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This is What Happens in Your Brain and Body Under Extreme Stress

effects on brain and body extreme stress You know that stress is bad for you, and that stress can take its toll on your health. But have you ever wondered exactly what happens in both your body and your brain when you are under an extreme amount of stress? If so, keep reading to learn more.

Your Body under Stress

Whenever you are dealing with chronic (long-term) stress, your body will produce excessive amounts of the hormone known as cortisol. It flows through your body throughout the day, rather than going away like it would during acute (short-term) stress, and it can lead to a variety of health problems, such as osteoporosis, hormone imbalances, heart disease, digestive ailments, cancer, diabetes, and weight gain. On top of that, chronic stress will adversely affect your adrenal glands, so your body will end up feeling tired even though your mind might feel wired. Plus, chronic stress also leads to inflammation, and it can negatively affect every system within your body. For example, your muscles tense up, increasing your risk of chronic pain, and your reproductive system could be thrown out of balance, especially if you are a woman.

Your Brain under Stress

Stress has frightening effects on the brain, causing symptoms like worry, anxiety, memory loss, and brain fog. On top of that, however, chronic stress could affect your brain all the way down to the DNA level. The free radicals that are created by stress could end up destroying valuable brain cells, as well as stop the production of new brain cells. Stress also puts you at a greater risk of depression and other mental illnesses, and cortisol could even shrink the brain and stop new neurons from being generated within the hippocampus. Plus, your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia increases, and your brain becomes increasingly vulnerable to toxins because stress adversely affects the blood-brain barrier.

What You Can Do

Here are a few things that you can do to combat the effects of stress on the body and brain:

• Get as much sleep as you can
• Try breathing exercises, meditation, and other relaxation techniques
• Make it a point to exercise regularly
• Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in antioxidants

Now that you know just how badly stress can affect your brain and your body, it is important to take steps every day to reduce your stress and manage it. In this way, you can prevent stress from having so many adverse effects on your wellbeing, and you can be happier and stronger as a result.

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