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The Effects of Stress on Your Brain

November 28, 2018

pink neon breathe sign on green leaves

And How Deep-Relaxation Curbs Helps Mitigate These Effects

Just because you feel healthy doesn’t mean you are experiencing optimal mental health. Good mental health is correlated to your social and emotional wellbeing. It relates to whether you are experiencing feelings of happiness, whether you can bounce back from stress and sadness, whether you can set and reach realistic goals and whether you are capable of building and maintaining healthy relationships with others.

What Happens to the Brain When You're Stressed?

When your body is under stress, it will begin to produce levels of cortisol well exceed the normal levels. Over time, the excess cortisol will wear down your brain's ability to function normally. All stress, regardless if it is short-term or long-term, triggers physiological reactions. Stress that is intense and lasts over a long period of time is referred to as chronic or toxic stress. 

What Part of the Brain Helps You Relax?

Chronic or toxic stress has been shown to shrink the prefrontal cortex, and this puts a person at risk for cortisol creating a domino effect in a way that could create a vicious cycle, making a person’s brain become predisposed to be in a constant state of fight or flight, writes Christopher Bergland in Psychology Today. Not only does stress lead to impaired cognitive function, but it can also lead to other alarming problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Stress takes a variety of forms and can occur for many reasons. While finances and heavy workloads are common causes of stress, family responsibilities, health concerns, and anxiety about the future are other causes that bring on stress for many people. Finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety are key to experiencing an overall sense of well-being.

Girl wearing glasses relaxes and sleeps in hammock

What Happens to Your Brain When You Enter Deep Relaxation and Meditation?

Meditation and deep relaxation have long been known to help with both depression and anxiety disorders. Time spent in a Deluxe Brazilian style double hammock from Hammock Universe can help slow you down, both mentally and physically, allowing you to truly relax. As your brain relaxes, it blocks the stress chemicals from entering the bloodstream, thus lowering stress. Like or not, life stresses are not going to disappear with the wave of a wand but learning ways to relax and handle stress can better prepare you to face what life throws at you.

When you exercise, eat well, and drink plenty of water, your body thanks you, as well as your mental health. A healthy body often equals a healthy mind, but sometimes exercise and diet aren’t quite enough. Your thinking affects you in many ways, and practicing healthy habits such as meditating, enjoying times of relaxation, and getting quality sleep can make significant improvements in your overall well-being. Although sleep is vital to reducing stress, a good night’s sleep is not true relaxation. Relaxing in Hammock Universe’s Mayan double hammock with a glass of green tea can be time well spent giving you a chance to focus on breathing and an opportunity to build your mental strength.

Olefin quilted hammock hangs in front of a cabin in the woods

Why Hammocks Are Great for Destressing and Relieving Your Anxiety

If you want to reap the benefits from spending time in the great outdoors, Hammock Universe offers the comfortable Olefin Double Hammock made of 100% Olefin textile that is fast-drying and mold- and stain-resistant. Relaxing can be a powerful way to combat stress and anxiety. At Hammock Universe, we want to help you reach a level of relaxation by creating a haven that you can personalize and enjoy with the things that bring you true happiness. There are many ways to take it easy, and hammocks are an excellent way to help facilitate your deep relaxation.

Ways to Relax

Relaxation has been scientifically proven to help you cope with stress, and there are various activities suggested for both stress and anxiety relief to bring your brain to a state of deep relaxation. Resting in a hammock is a great way you can help your body reach a level of relaxation that ultimately shuts down brain waves while rejuvenating the brain’s chemistry. that you can experience a calmer state of mind. Let's take a look at suggested ways to relax and experience a calmer state of mind.

Bonus – You can enjoy ever one of these activities in your own cozy hammock!
  • Drinking green tea: L-theanine, found in green tea provides a calming effect to combat anxiety.
  • Focus on breathing: Breathing exercises can help your body relax and relieve stress.
  • Hand massage: Massaging your hands can help to release tension throughout your whole body.
  • Alone time: Alone time can build mental strength, spark creativity and increase productivity.
  • Be outside: Your brain benefits from spending time in nature.
  • Take a power nap: Power naps can relieve stress and improve cognitive functioning.
  • Deep focus: Focus on the positive more than the negative and develop a habit of practicing gratitude.

Rope hammock hangs on porch in natural light

The Takeaway

Everyone deserves to relax from time to time. Not only will you feel better physically, but you will also notice significant improvements when it comes to your mental health. And with your own indoor or outdoor hammock, you too can create a safe and relaxing haven for yourself.

We’d love to know the different ways our readers like to unwind.
Maybe you’ll even find yourself a new favourite way to relax!
Reach out to us in the comments below and let us know how you take it easy after a busy, stressful day.

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