What does the chronic stress you suffer from coronavirus do to your brain?

Stress is not unknown to almost anyone, but it is still difficult for us to recognize when this unpleasant feeling is necessary and when it is costing us our health. Strategies that work to combat it and get things back on track and we can enjoy the calm again, there are many … until now. The situation we are experiencing due to the coronavirus is extraordinary and makes many people fall into a kind of hypervigilance and chronic stress That can end up taking a toll on your health, even your brain. Do you know what all the stress accumulated by the coronavirus is doing to your mind? We tell you everything.

Does stress damage the brain?

Experiments with mice have shown that experiencing a single stressful event is capable of causing groups of neurons to die in the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. And already in humans, investigations of the University of California concluded that stress is often a risk factor for mental disorders such as depression because it affects brain structure. Chronically stressed brain manufactures more myelin than an unstressed brain which means that the two cerebral hemispheres have a harder time communicating with each other.

But the most damaging effect of stress on the brain is that it kills its neuroplasticity, that is, their ability to adapt to circumstances and learn from them. In conclusion, stress is capable of altering brain structures.

How can we protect the brain from chronic stress?

The worst scenario for our brain is happening right at this moment, with a global pandemic that is chronifying stress in thousands of people. A study by the AXA foundation suggests that four out of five Spaniards suffer more stress since the pandemic began (Not to mention that 68% of health professionals have mental sequelae due to the "first wave").

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In addition to recommending us to unplug from doomscrolling, the experts launch a battery of solutions to prevent this crisis from taking its toll on our minds. The first pillar is to keep our physical activity intact: we have to move. Do not abandon our social supports (better calling on the phone and having a chat than giving likes on social networks), maintain a healthy diet and practice relaxation techniques daily They can help the brain get through this losing streak without suffering the most serious consequences. And if nothing works, it doesn't hurt to ask for professional help.

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