As Christmas items begin filling my mailbox and the shelves in my favorite stores I find it challenging to focus on anything other than making the holidays meaningful for my family.
Gift lists, special events, extra cooking, shopping, and decorating – I honestly love it all but I can absolutely feel myself beginning to experience the physical signs of stress from the very moment that I spot that first Christmas light. …
We all know that stress isn’t good for us – it doesn’t even feel good – the racing heart, and tensed muscles are pretty obvious and uncomfortable. But I was a little surprised how seriously damaging chronic stress can be to our brains …
Chronic stress can increase distraction, forgetfulness, negativity, anxiety, fear, and aggression. Continuous exposure to stress hormones can decrease brain function and the generation of new neurons ‘critical for learning, memory, emotional regulation and shutting off the stress response after the stressful event is over’ ultimately creating a negative impact on decision making, working memory, complex cognitive behavior, and moderation of social interaction and impulse control – going so far as to change the physical structure of your brain!
‘The result is a brain that is less capable of learning and memory, and more prone to anxiety and depression’ with ‘significant consequences on the way we interact with others, our ability to learn, remember, make decisions and accomplish long-term goals.’ Making it more ‘difficult to successfully manage stressful situations in the future, leading to a vicious cycle.’
Sounds pretty dreary -lucky for us EXERCISE is a ‘very effective antidote to these negative effects’ which ‘can help build a stress-resistant brain in addition to increasing cognitive function and brain size.’
So, like I mentioned last week, even though you may want to hibernate as the temperature falls, keep moving your body and you might experience the most wonderful time of the year as your best self. And just in case you aren’t doing your Minute Movements – now would be a fabulous time to start!