The Science Behind Stress Reduction



Experiences with anxiety and pleasure are embedded in your brain as memories which is the database for each your personal stress reduction program. Stress causes hormones and behavioral patterns to change throughout the day, week, month... When you can use the experience of stress in real time in a productive way you can make changes in reactions to stress and create permanent resolutions more easily. Take 1 minute now to learn about how stress functions.



 

 

HORMONES CHANGE WITH STRESS

In a stressful experience hormones, including Cortisol increase and can produce anxiety reactions.
At low levels of stress the hormones associated with wellbeing, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Dopamine are higher.
Hormones increase and decrease with stress experiences throughout the day.


With continuous unresolved stress throughout the day, week, month the brain produces an overload of Cortisol
and other stimulant hormones including Epinephrine, Norepinephrine and more.
This is the cause of chronic stress and inflammation in multiple systems.


THE HPA Axis

The HPA, Hypothalamus, Pituitary Adrenal axis is a superhighway sending signals through the body
so reactions happen quickly. Living in a chronic stress state leads to systemic inflammation, such as:
heart disease, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, headaches
and other common problems with sleep, eating and emotional control.




BRAIN

Living with chronic stress has been shown to create physical changes in the brain, neuronal dendrites
may shrink. Other areas including gray matter change in size or density and affect your ability
to react effectively to stress. With new experiential learning, dendrites can come
back through a process called neurogenesis.



NEUROPLASTICITY

The good news is that stress and anxiety can be modified due to the brain’s
ability to continuously change and adapt in the environment. This is known as neuroplasticity.

Your brain is just doing the job of using past stress experiences to direct the reactions
you have with current stress. Whether you react to stress with moderate or high stress or anxiety depends
on your previous experiences and factors of the current environment.
Neuroplasticity is also the way the brain creates new reactions to stress over time.

All of this works within the 24 hour time schedule referred to as Circadian rhythms.
Throughout this process, hormones in the body direct the processes of digestion, sleep,
waking, appetite and movement. With chronic stress, these processes
are deregulated and cause disturbing symptoms in critical areas.


SLEEP

During sleep the brain consolidates experiences from the day.
Two fluids, interstitial and cerebrospinal fluid wash the brain to open
up space for new experiences to be stored. Humans store and learn from experiences during sleep.
HUMAN Stress Reduction Programs will teach you how to use these
systems to manage stress so that the amount of stress
hormones – the Allostatic load – does not stay at the chronic stress level.