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Stephanie Banach, Wellness Glow Life Health Coach and Yoga Instructor

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Reduce Stress and Improve Your Well-being

Increased stress hormones affect our higher brain functions of learning, memory, attention span and ability to stay focused. It also impacts our ability to be creative. According to Dr. Nicholas Turiano, author of a research study published in the Journal of Aging and Health found that creativity draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain. Turiano says, “Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age.” Long-term stress and fear reduces the plasticity of our brains. Brain plasticity (or neuroplasticity) is a quality of the brain that makes it rewire or modify its connections on its own. If this ability is reduced, our creativity may also suffer over time.

Chronic stress has a shrinking effect on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. It also increases the size of the amygdala, which can make the brain more receptive to stress. “Cortisol is believed to create a domino effect that hard-wires pathways between the hippocampus and amygdala in a way that might create a vicious cycle by creating a brain that becomes predisposed to be in a constant state of fight-or-flight,” Christopher Bergland writes in Psychology Today.

Our relationships are also affected by the way stress impacts our brains. When triggered by stress, an enzyme attacks a synaptic regulatory molecule in the brain leading to a loss of social skills and cognitive impairment. This helps to explain why when people are stressed they can be grouchy, distracted or forgetful.

By learning to reduce our stress, we can improve our overall brain functions, creativity and our relationships. Some ways to manage our stress include meditation, yoga, movement, less busyness, journaling and spending time with friends and in nature. By intentionally scheduling time to de-stress, you can feel healthier, more energized and be able to better focus on the people and activities that mean the most to you. Stress management is good for each day and a lifetime of greater health and happiness!

I am grateful to share with The Wellness Glow Life community some tips on managing stress. I also invite you to check out the yoga videos and resources available inside the Wellness Glow Life plans for more support on reducing your stress and improving your wellbeing.

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