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The Chemistry of Stress and Brain

Stress is not a new word in the 21st century world we live in. All of us must have experienced stress for some reason or the other, even if it may have lasted only for a few minutes. To put it simple, stress is a strain that we experience depending upon how we react to the pressures set on us by the external world. When we are stressed we would in all terms be disturbed- unable to eat, sleep, work or focus. Thus it is apparent that stress has profound effects on our lives. But did you know that stress could also have comparative effects on our brain too?

Stress and brain

Stress is a strong emotion that can directly influence our brain. Most of the times it may take only some time to get through it. But there are rare cases where stress disrupts a person’s normal life so severely that medication may be required to put to an end to the nerve-racking emotions. A lot of studies have been conducted on individuals to observe the influence of stress on human brain. Stress gives rise to a bio-chemical charge of the hormones called adrenalin and cortisol that prepares us for the difficult situation ahead.

How stress occurs?

The higher part of our brain is very ‘rational’ and helps us to make logical decisions regarding something. It is the middle part of our brain that helps us to realize whether the upcoming situation is a ‘fight or flight’ one. This is also the part that plays the crucial role when we are in a difficult situation or when under pressure. The brain registers that something important has occurred regarding which an immediate solution must be made about whether to combat it or else get away from it as fast as possible. Technically speaking, the upper portion of the brain comes into a conflict with the middle portion and the exigency of the situation puts you in a stress.

There are some people who think that they are better off with their own problems and issues and there is absolutely no need at all to get into relationships with others, just to burden themselves with additional worries. This is completely wrong in all the perspectives. Being connected socially is the best way to cope with one’s stress. Isolation can only make you more stressed. Moreover social networks can make your brain healthier. Just like adrenalin, brain also creates a hormone called ‘dopamine’ when we love someone or when we indulge in something creative. It is a fact that isolated people are those who frequently come across feelings of anxiety, anger and depression.

How to overcome stress

Whenever you feel stressed, don’t overreact or get depressed. Keep your calmness and let your ‘rational bada bhai’ take charge over the ‘emotional chota bhai. Once you can successfully divert your energies to the rational part of your intellect, you are on your way to tackling your stress advantageously.  In short all you need is self- medication for your stress, in collaboration with your brain.

photo/freedigitalphotos.net/m_bartosch

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One Response

  1. Lakshmi Rajesh, I do not know much about the scientific discoveries about stress. To remove stress, meditatate. That is the unfailing approach. For example, to kill the mosquito, there are a number of sprays available in the market…..this is the temporary solution;but remove the filth, the breeding ground of mosquitos, the problem will be permanently solved. Similar should be the approach to tackle the mental filth called stress.