Mental Health: Prolonged Stress Can Lead To Cognitive Decline; Tips To Lower Risk
Prolonged stress can lead to cognitive decline, impair memory formation, and increase the risk of developing cognitive disorders.
Prolonged stress could negatively effect cognitive functions such as poor memory
Prolonged stress is a common experience that many people face on a day-to-day basis, especially in today's fast-paced world. Cognitive decline is a term used to describe the process of memory loss, thinking impairment, and other cognitive functions that occur as one gets older. This article aims to describe how prolonged stress can lead to cognitive decline and recommend seven tips to help reduce the risk of stress-related cognitive decline.
How does prolonged stress lead to cognitive decline?
Stress leads to the release of cortisol, a hormone that helps the body respond to stress. When cortisol levels remain high over an extended period, it can begin to impair the brain's ability to function. It can lead to changes in the brain's structure, including the hippocampus, where long-term memories are stored. High levels of cortisol can also impair new memory formation, learning abilities, and problem-solving.
Prolonged stress can also lead to inflammation, which can cause damage to neurons in the brain. This damage can impair memory and increase the risk of developing cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety, which can exacerbate cognitive decline.
7 Tips to lower the risk of cognitive decline from stress:
Regular exercise is an excellent way to manage stress and can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Exercise helps to improve blood flow to the brain, which increases the oxygen and nutrients delivered to the brain cells. Exercise can also stimulate the growth of new neurons and the release of hormones that can improve mood and reduce stress.
2. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness and Meditation are effective ways to reduce stress and improve cognitive function. They help to increase focus and attention, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve memory. Mindfulness and Meditation also help to lower cortisol levels, reduce inflammation, and improve the brain's ability to function.
3. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy and balanced diet can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. It is important to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods contain essential nutrients that can help reduce inflammation and improve brain function.
4. Engage in social activities
Social activities and spending time with loved ones can help reduce stress and improve cognitive function. It helps to boost mood, reduce depression and anxiety, and promote a sense of belonging. Engaging in social activities can also help to stimulate the brain and keep it active and engaged.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting adequate sleep is crucial for managing stress and reducing the risk of cognitive decline. Sleep helps to consolidate memories, improve mood, and reduce stress. It is recommended to get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
6. Seek professional help
If you are experiencing prolonged stress, seek professional help. Chronic stress and anxiety can have long-term impacts on cognitive function and mental health. A mental health professional can help you manage stress and develop coping strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
There are things we can do to reduce the risk of stress-related cognitive decline. Engaging in regular exercise, practicing mindfulness and meditation, eating a healthy diet, engaging in social activities, getting enough sleep, limiting exposure to stressful environments, and seeking professional help are all effective ways to reduce stress and lower the risk of cognitive decline.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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