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Stress Causes Your Brain To Shrink

It’s easy to find ourselves feeling stressed in today’s fast-paced life and competitive environment but few people know that it’s harmful to your brain – and the rest of your body.  According to a recent study at Yale University stress causes your brain to shrink, caused by sustained high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which was initially designed to get us out of trouble by fighting the effects of stress.

So next time you’re stressed to the gills and can neither focus, think nor remember the ingredients for the meatloaf you make every week, you can legitimately blame stress.

“It’s a short, easy story actually,” says Houston neuroscientist and author David Eagleman. “Stress is underpinned by particular hormones that circulate through the body and the brain. Those stress hormones are very bad for brain tissue. They eat away at brain tissue.

“What’s new to be stressed about is that stress is literally chewing miniature holes in your brain.”

Not all stress poses a problem; our bodies are designed to combat stress by releasing the hormone cortisol. That response grew out of stresses like, say, being chased by a tiger.

If you’re struggling to focus, concentrate and remember things, take a step back to think how stress causes your brain to shrink. There are a number of ways to handle stress, some of which are outlined on this site. Meditation, yoga, exercise and relaxation techniques are a few (of many) excellent methods to calm yourself down and clear your mind.

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