5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain to Reduce Stress
If you feel that stress is killing you, that is because it can.
Stress can affect your overall well-being. It can weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to infections, bacteria, and viruses. It can also increase the time it takes you to fully recover from an injury or illness. According to the Stress in America Survey by the American Psychological Association, 75% of Americans suffer from stress-related conditions.
Before stress can do you any harm, it is important to stop it immediately. Here are 5 ways on how you can rewire your brain to reduce stress.
A simple practice that can you can do in 10 minutes to help you rewire your brain to reduce the signs of stress and anxiety is by practicing meditation. Medication helps you become more mindful and directive of your attention and be more responsive to your thoughts.
The study entitled Medication Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being suggested that mindfulness meditation should be discussed by clinicians to patients because of the role that meditation programs could do in addressing patients’ psychological stress. People use meditation in treating stress and other stress-related conditions.
There are several ways to practice meditation: Reciting mantra, breathing, counting, and practicing mindfulness. Pranayama Yoga, an art of Yoga breathing, teaches the right way to breathe through the diaphragm which helps you to relax and control your heart rate through slow breathing. Slow breathing helps the brain rewire itself to be calmer whenever you are practicing it.
Meditation allows you to detect, observe, and master your emotions. Instead of reacting immediately to stress, you can react to what you see fit.
Think Happy Thoughts
If you rewire your brain to think positively, it will be natural and normal for the brain to think of positive thoughts to reduce stress. It can also lower down the levels of cortisol.
Thinking about happy thoughts can start with positive affirmations. Positive thinking quotes can help you reprogram your thinking so you can automatically promote positive thinking. Positive affirmations such as “This challenge is my chance to grow” instead of “I quit” and “I take this as an opportunity to learn” instead of “I made a mistake” are constructive statements that can reduce stress.
Thinking of happy thoughts enables you to cope better when it comes to stressful situations and can reduce the harmful health effects of stress on your body.
Track Your Stressors
To rewire your brain to reduce stress, you need to be aware of where it’s coming from. The more stress you experience from multiple sources, the less you are aware of it. You need to be aware of your stressors to have it under control.
Take some time and check your self. Pay attention to your body and check the physical signs of stress. Identify where in your body you feel different emotions. Tune in to your emotion and notice what you feel.
Since negative thoughts are automatic, track your thoughts. This will give you a better picture of how your stressors impact your daily life and how you can avoid repeating them.
Once you are aware of your stressors, you can practice changing them.
Mind Your Mind
Minding your mind or mindfulness can rewire your brain and wipe away your stress. Mindfulness is paying attention to your present moment without judgment. It does not only reduce stress but also builds an inner strength so that future stressors will have a lesser impact on your well-being and happiness.
Mindfulness practice reduces the activity of your brain’s amygdala. The amygdala is the part of your brain responsible for switching on your stress response. Once it reduces activity, the level of your stress reduces too.
Mindfulness also gives you the space to think differently about stress. Instead of seeing the negative effects of stress, you see it in a different, positive light.
Let Go of Stress
Letting go of the things that are main causes of stress is another way of rewiring your brain to reduce stress. Let go of the tension in your body. Take slow and long breathing while relaxing your eyes, shoulders, and jaws.
Stress minimizes the production of new brain cells. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), also known as the fertilizer for the brain, is a protein that is needed in keeping your existing brain cells healthy and helps in stimulating the new brain cell formulation.
When you are stressed, your brain increases cortisol production. Cortisol halts the production of BDNF. When BDNF production is reduced, it results in fewer new brain cells formation. Lowered levels of BDNF is associated with dementia, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Rewire your brain by letting go of your stressors to help your body relax and reduce stress completely.
Sleep, diet, and sleep are essential, but your mental health is important too. Doing simple steps such as meditating, doing mindfulness techniques, and thinking about happy thoughts can give you better results when it comes to rewiring your brain to reduce stress.