The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

Update: 2019-01-09


Human physiology teaches that when we allow fear or stress to overcome us, two hormones are released: Adrenaline and Cortisol. Adrenaline is a superpower of sorts and it is typically the reason people indulge in extreme sports or horror movies. The “high” they experience from the adrenaline rush can be addictive. In cases of true emergencies or life-threatening circumstances, adrenaline provides surges of power that are somewhat super-human in nature. 

However, to the level we allow stress or fear to overtake us on a day to day, the same amount of cortisol will be released. When this happens, it will paralyze portions of the frontal lobe in our brains. This frontal lobe is referred to as “the executive center.” The entire response is called, “fight or flight.” 

 In situations where we are authentically in danger, the release of these chemicals can be lifesaving. Think of the mother whose child is trapped under a car in an accident. She will do anything to save her child. She runs over, picks up the car, almost effortlessly, and pulls her child to safety. She was able to do so because of the supernatural strength provided by the adrenaline. At the same time, the cortisol paralyzed the reasoning portion of her frontal cortex so that she would not consider the fact that she cannot pick up a car. This is also true regarding soldiers on the battle field or when we are threatened and need to make decisions without time for reasoning. However, if cortisol is allowed to remain in our brains too long or at levels that are too high, it can create a life of senseless self-destruction, with the debilitating symptoms of chronic stress.

Stress related issues:

 Inadequate sleep
 Poor eating habits
 Emotional distress
 Reduced attention
 Decreased perception (Brain Fog)
 Loss of short term memory
 Reduced learning receptivity and retention
 Difficulty communicating, clearly
These symptoms are a result of:
 Decreased regulation of cortisol
 Increases in glucocorticoids
 Cellular changes in the hippocampus
* Source: Women’s Health Network

Excerpts and insights* from Chapter 1 of "Your Journey to Greatness Through Routine: A Guide to Creating a Success Routine"
Book Contains:

  • 7 Actual Case Studies
  • The Brain Science Behind Habits
  • Retraining Your Brain Through Cognitive Restructuring
  • Heart Science, Energy and the Law of Attraction
  • Powerful Principles of Influence and Greatness
  • Tips and Tools to Build Your Success Routine

*Certain portions have been added to actual book excerpts by the author.

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The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

Michelle L Steffes, Author / Speaker / Trainer / Coach