When people enter college, their independence increases, along with their level of responsibility. Many kids leave the parental home and live by themselves or with roommates. They have to deal with financial problems, cleaning, homework, lectures, social activities and even work. Such an overload may lead to stress and depression. There are some ways to reduce stress: paying more attention to the things that make you happier, asking for assistance from academic services such as Essay Bulls if necessary, writing reflective essays, etc.
But the most reasonable decision is to find out how exactly the stress affects the brain and human behavior and monitor the symptoms.
6 Ways Stress Affects the Brain
- Stress releases cortisol.
Cortisol, also known as a primary stress hormone, increases blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension during times of stress. Actually, it’s really helpful when you have to act quickly or focus on your task.
2. Stress increases the activity of the amygdala.
Although cortisol is necessary for our well-being, high levels of this hormone bring negative consequences. For example, it increases the number of neural connection in the brain’s fear center – the amygdala, and it’s getting hard for a person to control anxiety.
3. Stress deteriorates electric signals in the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is the part of our brain that is usually associated with learning and memory. Chronic stress disrupts the activities in the hippocampus and makes the learning and memorizing processes more complicated.
4. The stress hormone causes the brain to shrink in size.
Your prefrontal cortex may shrink in size because of high levels of cortisol over long periods of time. This part of the brain is responsible for social interaction, analysis, decision-making, and other essential functions.
5. Stress results in a loss of synaptic connections.
Synaptic connections are crucial for passing signals between neurons. If they disintegrate, the brain can’t function flawlessly.
6. Stress decreases the number of new brain cells in the hippocampus.
This effect can result in worse mental conditions like depressions or even cause Alzheimer’s disease in older age.
The majority of the population faces stress at some point or another. If you spot some of the symptoms, it’s not a reason to stress out even more. Humanity knows many efficient ways to reduce stress.
The most popular among them are meditation and exercise. These activities not only lower the level of stress but also reverse the effects of cortisol in your brain.
After all, stress isn’t fatal. Bad things happen, but they aren’t worth your health. Focus on the little, great joys, and your life will change for better!