Stressed Out? This Is How It's Affecting Your Brain 6 years ago

Stressed Out? This Is How It's Affecting Your Brain

From parking tickets to forgotten lunches, mortgage payments to pay cuts, the stresses of modern life are many and varied. 

As this eye-opening Ted-Ed video shows however, chronic stress (like the type you get from being overworked or having constant arguments at home) has a much deeper effect than a short temper or a bad mood... it can actually begin to change your brain.

It's all down to cortisol, a hormone responsible for the 'fight or flight' mechanism. We need a little cortisol to help us survive stressful situations. Too much, however, and it starts to have a negative affect on the Hippocampus, which is responsible for stress control, memory and learning.

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It can even start to shrink the size of your brain, damaging the synaptic connections and weakening your ability to concentrate and interact with others.

This can also set the stage for more serious issues, such as depression and Alzheimer's disease.

And it's not just true of the human world: fascinatingly, scientists have discovered that baby rats were less likely to be affected by stress later in life if they had a nurturing mother rat from birth.

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Intrigued? Make a cup of chamomile tea and take five to watch this video. Your health may depend on it.