Stress shrinks brains – Roundtable 6

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Most of us agree that difficulties can pop into our day to either sink us or sail us into refreshing new waters. Are you aware however, that persistent feeling hopeless or stressed literally shrinks our brains, and can shave 10 years off our lives? Fortunately, it’s also true that we can avoid stress toxins by choices we make in response to difficulties or challenges that come our way.

As the brain’s dangerous and toxic chemical, cortisol comes from and creates anger, stress, anxiety, or disappointments. It nudges us to look at all we are not, so that we fail to delight in all that we are!

We cannot choose problems but we do choose responses

In spite of stories about what some call, “good stress,” cortisol fuels anger, fear and frustration, and causes or intensifies conflicts. It also shuts down learning, and lowers our ability to make good choices. Other problems arise from this toxin too.

It leads to negativity, cynicism, depression and hopelessness, and it blinds us from seeing possibilities. It replaces healthy risk or fun and adventures with fears and problems, as it shuts out chemicals for solutions and focuses on health’s opposites. In order to learn more about how to decrease cortisol check out my brain-based blog which offers more details from research. 

We benefit from cortisol to help us initially through sudden or tragic loss, disappointments, or grief. Cling to it too long through an inability to let go of grief, however, and stress chemicals begin to work against our physical and mental health.

Cortisol levels will be heightened yet can be lowered

CORT is short for cortisol and is the fictitious character with real brain parts related to toxins. CORT is one of six namungos that illustrate the brain’s chemicals. It fuels anxiety and is awakened by problems we  fail to resolve, while it decreases with doable solutions we propose or attempt.

See CORT namungo’s role above

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Stress-free setting rarely appear by accident

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset