Stress is annoying. We see it in teenagers needing to take the ACT, in young adults trying to raise children, in older adults with helping their parents who are getting older. It’s in the big things like taxes and moving, but also the little day to day issues of “do I have enough gas to get to work?,” “who is staring at me?,” and “did I leave the curling iron on at home?” But this is not just an emotional issue, it affects your brain and therefore your whole body. So, what do we know about how stress affects your brain?
One of the most interesting facts about mental health and the illnesses associated with it is that it does not only affect the mind. We know for a fact that the brain is the battery for everything that happens in your body, creating chemicals, powering organs, and interpreting senses as we interact with reality. Even more so, we know that depression can affect our sleep and appetite, our energy levels and our ability to concentrate. Anxiety creates physical tension and boosts energy, but over long periods of time can actually negatively affect your brain size and function as well as your immune system.