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How stress affects our lives

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Living in today’s society has surely taken its toll on us: the pressure in schools, the demanding curriculum, the competition on the job market, the interviews, the job, the scary boss, the rent, the bills, the relationship, the unhealed wounds from the last relationship, the annoying flatmate, the compromising photos on Facebook you were tagged in, the dog, the mail…awwww and the never ceasing ringing tone of Whatsapp! No wonder we are so stressed!

Well, some of us may have a bigger tendency to stress and some less. But for certain, all of us have experienced high degrees of stress at least once in our lives. The subject is complex and it is not our endeavour today to solve this case. But I wanted to recommend to you this nice TED video (and scientific essay, I’d say) called “How stress affects our brain” made by Madhumita Murgia, a journalist at The Telegraph.

Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

Incredible, huh?

Chronic stress might make it harder for you to learn or remember things. Also, it can set the stage for more serious mental problems like depression and eventually Alzheimer’s disease.

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An interesting study showed that

the amount of nurture a mother rat provides its new born baby plays a part on how that baby responds to stress later in life. The pups of nurturing mums turned out less sensitive to stress because their brains developed more cortisol receptors. The pups of negligent mums had the opposite response. […] And what is more surprising is that this change caused by a single mother rat was passed down to many generations of rats.

However, there are many ways to reverse the effects of stress. The most common of them are exercise and meditation.

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Enjoy the video and de-stress yourself. Everything falls into place eventually.

Quite interesting, huh? Especially the ending line:

Take control of stress before it takes control of you!

So, go out, take a deep breath, smell the flowers, listen to the songs of the birds. Life is so beautiful…after all. Isn’t it?

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Source: Thank you, great team at TED  for this amazing video!


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