Stress Can Make You Stupid

can stress make you stupid?

 Article at a glance

  • How Stress affects different hormones in the body and brain cells and negative effects of stress 
  • You can make stress actually useful and helpful by using brain-science hacks to convert into another emotion like excitement. 
  • Learn to lower your stress and manage your stress levels with several tips you may not have seen before

Day to day activities causing you to worry more rapidly under stress. Guess what? Stress is an ordinary human response that happens to everybody. We are meant to feel the pressure of stress and respond to it! If a bear was chasing us, our body floods us with stress causing us to run really fast! However, in today’s world, the angry bear might be an upset partner boss or a big public speech.. Stress can have an impact on our body both internally and externally. This happens mainly because of environmental, social, and physical changes that react to our body in a certain way. 

 

Did you know that stress can be useful in some circumstances? Most people think stress is the enemy (and usually it is) but sometimes it can help us. Many of you would be wondering how is this even true? Well, let us explain why. Stress can challenge us to experience things in a different manner. It puts a certain limitation on our brain and helps us to focus on that task to perform it more effectively and efficiently. It can even help us to remember our day-to-day task. Once we have reached a certain criteria for the day it would be quite noticeable that we would see our stress levels going down. Hence, giving us relief. 

While looking on the other side, if we are constantly under stress, it could affect our overall health. Taking stress to a greater extent can lead to many health problems.  

relaxing in nature

So as some stress can be helpful – let’s explore how we can manage stress and keep in in an amount that is working best for us! There are so many ways to manage it too, it could either be by playing sports, eating healthy, spending time with friends, getting out in nature or even spending time with animals! There are many tactics you can implement into your life depending on what is best for you and it would definitely give us a sense of relaxation.  

HOW DOES STRESS MAKE YOU STUPID? 

Stress is common in today's fast paced life. Every individual you meet is going through some tension, worries and problems. Taking stress for a long term can wear your brain down. We all know how bad stress can be for our brain, body and overall health. From dealing with daily traffic, being late for work or study, or even just comparing our lives to others on social media. It can surely put a certain amount of pressure on our brain. 

Stress shrinks decision-making brain

Chronic stress could be life threatening but however it could be overcome. Stress could shrink your decision-making brain by interfering with your emotion, metabolism and memory. Studies shows that reaction of stress could also affect our hormones including our thyroid hormones, growth hormones and insulin. [1] [2] 

Stress Affects Emotional Intelligence

Stress affects your emotions, the way you feel, the way you talk, and how you respond to others. So, when we say it can make you stupid, we really meant it. Stress can actually change the way you relate to others, and often in a really negative way. It can severely affect your decision-making capabilities. An uncontrollable stress can further lead to anxiety and mental disorders which might put a person into aggressive behaviour. [3] 

Chronic stress that is left unchecked is a disaster and could affect teenagers and adults. Once it starts developing into our system it negatively affects our overall wellness of the body and therefore, we spend most of the time in some sort of pressure and burden in our head. 

But, let’s not worry too much as there’s so many things, we can do to help keep stress at bay, and Savvy Beverages is committed to helping people overcome stress! Let’s jump into how managing stress can make us smarter. It has been suggested that when you feel anxious about an event, it feels the same as being really excited about it. The only difference is that one is a positive sentiment toward the event and the other is not. So next time you’re feeling anxious about an event (for example, giving a presentation to your team) if you instead think about why you are excited, and look for benefits that could make you feel happier – you might find yourself turning situations around more often!! [4]  

Here’s another idea that’s based on a TED talk - when you’re feeling stressed, and your heart is beating faster, you’re breathing quickly, palms are sweaty – try and act like stress is your friend. Think to yourself “thank goodness for this stress, with this extra breathing, I can bring life-giving oxygen to my brain so I can think clearly and perform better”. Little things like this can totally change how you react to any given situation.  

If we start to identify what is triggering our stress and react with excitement (or gratitude) then it's a job done! It sounds simple, and sometimes it is, but it’s a science-backed trick that’s worth a shot, right? If you’re not convinced, here are the top 5 ways to stress less! 

5 Tips to Lower Stress

how to live stress free

1. Exercise is the best remedy

Hop into your sportswear, get into your favourite joggers. Make the momentum and get going into some kind of exercise! Get those muscles working. Research shows that whoever exercises frequently, gets a good night sleep which renews your brain and body and helps to reduce stress. [5] 

2. Rest and recover

Get your sleeping pattern in place. Sleep deprivation can significantly affect your mental health. Getting quality sleep is extremely important to recover and have a good start the next day. Sleep deprivation really affects all of our body and brain, causing it to not work as well as it should.  

3. Eat Healthy

Let's start eating healthy, opt for nutrient-filled foods. Diet can be a great tool for reducing stress. Stress levels decrease when you are enjoying nutritious foods and feeling more energetic from fuelling your body with the right stuff!  

4. Check in with friends and family

You're not on this journey alone! Speak to your friends and family. Spending time with people you care about in a sense of belonging is one of the best ways to feel better. For bonus points, try and add a pet or two into the mix! Interacting with pets and loved ones releases oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood. [6]

5. Avoid procrastination

Procrastination can lead you fall behind in many parts of your life, so you feel like you’re always scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality. Get in the habit of making a to-do list organised by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.  

Make sure you’re going through it all – but don’t multitask. Instead work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. [7] 

Final thought 

Having a balanced life, means that you’re going to get stressed from time to time, and as long as you don’t let stress run your life – you’re going to be okay!   

Although stress and anxiety may arise in your workplace and personal life, there are many simple ways to reduce the pressure you feel.  

References 

[1] Stress and hormones 

[2] How stress and depression can shrink the brain 

[3] Emotional intelligence and its relationship with stress coping style 

[4] The Upside of Stress 

[5] The Role of Exercise in Stress Management 

[6] The Possible Role of Oxytocin

[7] Procrastination, Health, and Wellbeing