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Train your brain to stop stress

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https://www.inverse.com/science/train-your-brain-to-stop-stress

inverse.com

Train your brain to stop stress
Today’s high-stress environment is an opportunity to reset how our brains deal with stressful situations.

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Stress causes health problems

Stress causes health problems

We’re all under stress right now. And the stress-reactive circuits in our brain guide us to respond ineffectively to stress and cause chronic stress and rising rates of emotional, behavioral, socia...

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Understanding the emotional brain

  • The neural circuits in our emotional brain - the limbic system and subconscious memory systems - control our emotional responses in daily life.
  • When a stimulus arrives in the brain...

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Retrain the stressed brain

The brain learns to be resilient by being resilient. It takes becoming stressed, then use emotional techniques to change the unreasonable expectations stored in that circuit.

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Stress resilience

  • Stress as a social response: We can spread stress to others that can eventually become large-scale group emotions.
  • Treating stress: The current mo...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Gentle morning exercise

Exercising may help alleviate anxiety when faced with a sudden, unpredictable shock.

Spend time with a close friend

According to research, when we connect with friends, we can handle stress better.

Start the day with time outside

According to a study, spending time in nature, or even just looking at scenes of nature, may help you recover faster from subsequent stressful experiences.

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Understanding Stress

  • Dealing with Stress is imperative as it is unavoidable in modern life.
  • Our work, family and our finances create daily stress and other external factors (like politics and terrorism) co...

Your Perception About Stress

With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

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Stress as a personal choice

Stress as a personal choice
  • Getting psychologically and visibly stressed out could be "manufactured stress". It is a way of showing that what we are doing is important. 
  • Sometimes we cause our own ...

Movement

You don't have to do something too intense, just get moving to energize your brain and body.

A regular 20 - 45-minute high-intensity exercise will trigger positive endorphins, spark your meta...

Motivation

Start your day by thinking who you want to be and what impact you want to have on the world.

To help you reach that state of motivation, read or listen to something inspiring.

Meditation

Meditation is a way to focus your attention to your internal dialogue and moving it into the direction you desire.

The more you are able to focus your attention where you choose to, the stronger your mental muscle will become.

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Mindfulness

... is a collection of practices aimed at helping us to cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves and our environment.

Meditation sharpens your attention

Meditation helps to counter our tendency to stop paying attention to new information in our environment. Other studies have found that mindfulness meditation can reduce mind-wandering and improve attention.

Larger randomized controlled trials are still needed to understand how meditation might work with other treatments to help people manage attention-deficit disorders.

Consistent meditation

Long-term, consistent meditation mindfulness changes our ability to handle stress in a better, more sustainable way.

  • Practicing meditation reduces the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors.
  • Mindfulness practices help us to be less reactive to stressors and to recover better from stress when we experience it. 

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What Emotional Fitness is

It's the idea that in order to lead healthy, happy emotional lives we need consistent habits and exercises that support our mental health and wellbeing.

The Benefits of Emotional Fitness

  • Decreased stress: you learn to manage your triggers.
  • Better communication in relationships: it helps you to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and then find more productive ways to work through difficulties.
  • Decreased anxiety: you train your mind to stop fearing its own emotional reactions.
  • You stick with your goals: you learn to deal with emotions like anxiety, shame, regret.
  • Increased self-awareness: you learn to build a better relationship with your emotions.

Get to know your emotions

  • Emotional clarity: Taking the time to deliberately reflect on our emotions, to observe and label them.
  • Emotional myth-busting: Eliminating myths and misconceptions floating around people’s minds about emotions. 
  • Emotional tolerance: Learning to resist short-term gratification and instead invest in long-term values.

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but y...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts

  • Black and White Thinking: There are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential.
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it.
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken.
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.

Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff.

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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) can be defined as the ability to understand, manage, and effectively express one's own feelings, as well as engage and navigate successfully with those of oth...

Reduce Negative Emotions

... so they don't overwhelm you and affect your judgment. 

In order to change the way you feel about a situation, you must first change the way you think about it. 

Increased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for my dream job. I’ll be devastated if they don’t hire me.”
Decreased fear of rejection: “I’m applying for three exciting positions. If one doesn’t pan out, there are two more I’m well qualified for.”

Stay Cool and Manage Stress

How we handle stressful situations can make the difference between being assertive versus reactive, and poised versus frazzled. When under pressure, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep our cool. 

  • If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face and get some fresh air. 
  • If you feel fearful, depressed, or discouraged, try intense aerobic exercises. Energize yourself. 

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About Consciousness

About Consciousness

Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.

Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either d...

Searching For Physical Footprints

What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.

Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?

Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness (NCC)

The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.

  • When parts of the cerebellum, the "little brain" underneath the back of the brain, are lost to a stroke or otherwise, patients may lose the ability to play the piano, for example.  But they never lose any aspect of their consciousness. This is because the cerebellum is almost wholly a feed-forward circuit. There are no complex feedback loops.
  • The spinal cord and the cerebellum are not enough to create consciousness. Available evidence suggests neocortical tissue in generating feelings.
  • The next stages of processing are the broad set of cortical regions, collectively known as the posterior hot zone, that gives rise to conscious perception. In clinical sources of causal evidence, stimulating the posterior hot zone can trigger a diversity of distinct sensations and feelings.
  • It appears that almost all conscious experiences have their origin in the posterior cortex. But it does not explain the crucial difference between the posterior regions and much of the prefrontal cortex, which does not directly contribute to subjective content.

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Worry

Worry is the cognitive part of anxiety, with it's repetitive and obsessive thought patterns in our mind. Worry is sometimes essential for us to solve problems or take action, provided we are not st...

Stress

Stress is a biological response(or a reaction) to external changes and forces beyond one's resources. Signs of stress include a rapid heart rate, shallow breath, and an adrenaline rush.


Acute stress or temporary stress is normal and even beneficial. Chronic stress is linked to health concerns like heart disease and a weakened immune system.


Ways to Handle Stress:

  • Exercise daily.
  • Focus your energy on what you can control.
  • Know that your stress response is unique to you.

Anxiety

Anxiety is the culmination of worry and stress. It is a state of body and mind which is stressed and worried for no apparent reason, like a response to a false alarm.

An anxiety disorder is an acute form of anxiety and a serious medical condition.


How to Handle Anxiety:

  • Curb your sugar, alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Calm yourself by deep breathing and refocusing on your body parts.
  • Distract yourself by listening to music or a little exercise.
Stress, worry and anxiety can be helped by regular exercise, a nutritious diet and an ample amount of sleep.