5 Ways to Destress Your Brain

December 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm 2 comments

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While short bursts of stress
can provide a quick (and temporary) boost to  your cognitive function, ongoing, chronic stress takes a heavy toll on the brain. Modern life is full of stressful situations that can’t often be avoided, and today’s seniors deal with complications their parents didn’t face:  traffic, health care complications, ever-ringing cell phones, and even raising their own grandchildren.

But there are lots of small ways to help reduce the effects of those stressors, and keep the risk to your mental functions at a minimum.  Below, you’ll find just a few!

  1. De-Clutter
    Physical clutter can create a feeling of being overwhelmed. it’s a constant reminder of things left un-done, and it scatters your attention.  Even if you can’t de-clutter your entire living space, try and create one corner that’s clean and clear of distractions, somewhere you can go and not *see* things that are left to do.  You’ll be surprised at how effective this one is!
  2. Stay In The Now
    Thinking too far ahead  will clutter up your brain with future stresses, problems and tasks – it quickly becomes overwhelming.  So try to stay in the moment of now, focusing on one task and one step at a time.  It’s good to plan ahead, but don’t dwell on the future.  Keep your attention on the here and now, and watch your stress melt away.
  3. Set Boundaries
    A lot of stressful situations can be avoided by setting healthy boundaries on what you allow into your life.  If people are bringing stress into your life with their actions, comments, and expectations, it’s ok to decide you won’t allow that to happen anymore.  Gently tell the people around you about your new boundaries, and even if they don’t change their actions, you may find that the act of declaring those limits may help you deal with the problems more effectively.
  4. Put Down The Superman Cape
    Yes, I know. You bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, feed it to the grandkids, and use the leftovers to make quiche for the weekly book club you organize.  But you haven’t actually got superhero powers, and trying to live like you do can add significant stress to your life.  it’s time to assess your expectations of yourself, let go of those perfectionist ideals, and know that it’s ok to be a mere mortal.
  5. Get Physical
    I know, I know, everyone nags you to exercise.  But it is honestly one of the best ways you can help your body and brain destress.  Physical activity is the natural outlet for the processes involved in stress-reactions, and just a 30 minute walk every few days can have significant impact on stress relief.

Have any of your own stress-reduction techniques and suggestions? Share them in the comments, and maybe we’ll come up with a part two for this article!

Entry filed under: Reduce Stress. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GaryD  |  December 23, 2009 at 12:34 am

    I’ve read that meditation helps relieve stress. And it also improves your brain in other ways as well. In fact, studies show that meditation can actually grow new brain cells.

    Reply
  • 2. Tori Deaux  |  December 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Gary! Great to see you found your way here 🙂

    I can personally vouch for meditation as a good stress reliever. It also seems to help compensate for loss of sleep, though that’s just my own observation and anecdotal – it would be interesting to see some science on it.

    The bit about growing new brain cells is fascinating, don’t you think? I seem to remember studies saying that in those who practice lifelong meditation disciplines, the grey matter in the brain is significantly larger. Neurogenesis in action!

    Reply

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
Sponsored by Dakim Brain Fitness

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