It has been known for some time that neurofeedback has worked wonders for those suffering from chronic stress in that is re-trains the brain and leaves lasting results. The EEG signals work with your own brain’s activity to forge new neural pathways surrounding ideas, habits, and certain activities ensuring the results stick.
It is important to combat stress as much as possible as the effects of not addressing stress are pretty serious:
Stress could trigger a chemical change that makes you irritable
French researchers discovered an enzyme, when triggered by stress, that attacks a molecule in the hippocampus which is responsible for regulating synapses. When the synapses are modified, fewer neural connections are able to be made in the area.
“These effects lead subjects to lose their sociability, avoid interactions with their peers and have impaired memory or understanding.
Chronic stress can shrink your brain
Stressful life events could harm your brain’s memory and learning capacity by reducing the volume of gray matter in brain regions associated with emotions, self-control and physiological functions.
Chronic stress and/or depression can contribute to lost volume in the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with emotional and cognitive impairment. Researchers found that this is particularly true of people with a genetic marker that can disrupt the formation of synaptic connections between brain cells.
One stressful event can kill brain cells
As we learn new information, we constantly generate new neurons in the hippocampus — a brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion. But ongoing stress can halt the production of new neurons in the hippocampus and may also affect the speed of connections between hippocampal cells, according to Scientific American. What’s more, an animal study found that a single stressful event can destroy newly created neurons in the hippocampus.
Stress can disrupt memory by triggering the brain’s threat response
While cortisol hampers the activity of the hippocampus, it increases the size and activity of the amygdala, the brain’s main center for emotional responses and motivation. The amygdala is responsible for fear processing, threat perception and the fight-or-flight response. Increased activity means we’re in a state of reacting to perceived threat, which can have the effect of restricting our ability to take in new information. It can also heighten emotional reactions.
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