- Holiday stress is only part of a much bigger epidemic in society. Researchers are concluding that stress has evolved into an imminent danger in our country.
- Stress, especially chronic stress can have long-term damaging effects on the brain.
- Modernity is at odds with our evolutionary make-up, and our fight-or-flight response is in overdrive.
- There are many approaches we can take to combat the effects of stress on the brain, including dietary options, meditation, exercise and supplementation.
Stress May Be An Even Bigger Deal Than We Realize
With all of the holiday stress, many breathe a sigh of relief when they can return to their 'normal' routines. However, for an increasing number of people, the stress issue doesn’t end with the month of December.
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is reaching the point of a public health crisis in the US. According to a recent study, the holiday season can be a time of unbelievable highs and also tremendous lows. The New York Post reported that many Americans feel that this time of year can be both wonderful and at the same time draining and full of stressors. Termed “Festive Stress,” 31% of US citizens refer to the season as ‘frantic,’ citing difficulty with gift shopping, family reunions, and the pressure to create ‘the perfect Christmas.’
An Evolutionary Mismatch
In many ways our bodies are caught in the midst of an evolutionary crossroads. All of us have an innate fight-or-flight response, which was developed to protect us from life-threatening dangers. Our modern stress issue arises from the fact that our brain can’t tell the difference from real or perceived threats. At one time our stress response only kicked in when we were in actual danger--say running from a large animal. Now, our stress response is activated constantly as we try to meet the demands of the day. Our bodies are simply not built to handle a constant state of alarm.
The Scary Truth About Stress and The Brain
If you’re wondering how stress affects the brain, the answer is that it can create a lot of damage. A state of chronic stress can have debilitating effects on the entire body and especially the brain. When constantly in a state of fight-or-flight, the body releases the hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can damage the part of the brain known as the hippocampus. This area is a memory center of the brain and is responsible for creating and accessing memories. In addition, chronic stress could be linked to premature brain aging.
4 Things You Can Do For Your Brain Health
With this modern assault on our cognitive health, it is of the utmost importance to take care of our brain, and make sure that we are doing all that we can to maintain it as we age. Here are some tips to optimize your cognitive health and boost your memory:
1.) Start Adding Brain Foods To The Menu
The food you eat matters, and when it comes to your brain health there are many options on the menu. Some foods, such as salmon and eggs, are thought to have memory-boosting properties. Others, such as Green Tea, can heighten focus and alertness.
There are many kinds of meditation, and not all of them are religious in nature. Evidence is mounting that meditation is good for the mind and body and can actually reconfigure your brain for positivity. Mantra-based meditation is especially useful at combating stress and can dial down the volume of the noise around you.
In health as in life there is no magic bullet, but exercise is about as close as it gets. Even moderate physical activity can increase blood flow to the brain, boost mood and protect brain cells. Exercise also stimulates the production of neurons, a process calledneurogenesis. It probably comes as little surprise, but exercise is one of the best things you can do to care for your brain.
4.) Learn a Language or an Instrument
It’s hard to believe that certain activities can help you preserve your mental abilities, but in this case it’s true. Mastering an instrument or new language can have a major impact on your brain health now and further down the road. Studies show that it could boost mental dexterity and help protect the brain from cognitive changes due to aging.
Supplementation Could Make a Difference
Through our clinical research, we learned that people who struggle with traditional brain health issues also tend to struggle with mood-related imbalances as well as sleep issues. Because of this, Procera with the help of its science team have developed both a Mood and Sleep product. These products work quickly and customers have come to rely upon them during tough seasons (such as the holidays) and on a long term basis to balance their mood and improve their quality of life. If you’re looking for both memory and mood support, give Procera Advanced Brain a try.
New York Post Research Source: https://nypost.com/2017/12/21/festive-stress-is-ruining-americas-holiday-season/