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Prolonged Stress & Changes in the Brain
by
Alicia Jones
on
December 2, 2011
| Stress & Burnout |

Back in the 80's there was an American TV commercial that showed a picture of an egg frying in a pan accompanied by the bold headline "this is your brain on drugs," The idea was that if we could picture the damage happening to our brains, we would be less likely to be passive about our own harm.

But what about stress?

There’s plenty of evidence that prolonged stress exposure alters the structure of the brain in ways that might grab our attention we could see it. Prolonged stress is not just getting to you, it’s changing your brain over time. While this may be bad news for adrenaline junkies, it’s a helpful perspective for those of us who view stress as harmless. Chances are, your friends may see the changes in you before you do. Here’s a few signs that it may be time to take this seriously.

The good news is that you can do something about it! The process is reversible. The jury is still out about whether it’s possible to beef up our brain’s “shock absorbers” – actually buffering ourselves ahead of time so that we’re more able to cushion the blow - but the evidence looks good. The real question is will you do it? We might if we could see the process in reverse. We’re unlikely to be able to show you any snazzy videos of “this is your brain with regular exercise” or “this is your brain with decent sleep” or “this is your brain when you finally work through forgiveness issues” … but trust us, and your brain will thank you. We’ll be telling you more, and sending some good links your way. It’s all pretty interesting, so stay in touch.

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