Mental health is something that we have begun to understand and pay much more attention to over the last few years. We are beginning to better understand how our lifestyles can affect our state of mind. Stress is something that can come from one or multiple aspects of our life and it can have a significant impact on our mental health. Keep reading to find out why!
When you experience a stress response it is the body's adaptive way of keeping us safe. The fight or flight response (aka adrenaline rush) that we feel when we experience stress helps our bodies prepare to face danger. This is incredibly useful in the right situation, like if you had to outrun an angry dog. The problem with stress is that in our modern world we are constantly exposed to little things (work, relationships, school, etc) that set off our stress response and put us into fight or flight mode. When we are under chronic stress in this way we begin to cause harm to our mental health.
How Stress Impacts your Mind
Our brains are sensitive to stress, and over time too much can have a negative impact on our brains and in turn, our state of mind. Different parts of our brain have to communicate with one another in order to operate effectively, and when the brain experiences prolonged states of high stress these areas begin to lose connectivity (1). Another side effect studies have found in patients struggling with chronic stress is memory loss. The high levels of stress alter the brain's connections in the regions responsible for retaining memories, leading to impairments (2). Another result of chronic stress in the brain is that it leads to inflammation. This inflammation can also cause memory problems, but another major symptom is anxiety and depression. There are plenty of studies that have found a strong correlation between stress and depression (3), and this is due to a hormone imbalance in the brain.
Our stress response causes an increase in the levels of the hormone cortisol. This hormone is called the stress hormone, and that is because it signals to the brain that there is danger. High levels of cortisol are seen in individuals with anxiety and depression as well (4). For people who struggle with their mental health it is worth determining if you are under high levels of stress and thus have high levels of cortisol in the body!
How You Can Better Manage Stress
Although we cannot escape the world we live in, we can still control our lifestyles within it. Finding ways to manage stress is crucial to maintaining your mental health. Here at GoldynGlow, we focus our efforts on diet when it comes to healthy lifestyle choices. For fighting stress, we turn to our blend CALM, which is full of superfoods and adaptogens to fight the negative effects of stress on the body and mind. We also recommend drinking plenty of water, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and sleeping well every night to help manage stress.