Quiz: How Can You Power Up Your Brain Today? RESULTS: REDUCE STRESS
By: Courtney Sperlazza, MPH
August 10, 2015
Your answers indicate that you have a fair amount of stress that’s standing in your way.
A little bit of stress is good — it can keep you on your toes. Too much, and you shut down. You want your nervous system to know that you’re safe, so that you can face the day with clarity and drive. Here are a few easy changes that help with mental stress.
Calming breathing exercises
Certain breathing patterns amplify stress, others bring you back to a level state. The key is to pace your breath in a way that deactivates your sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response) and activates your parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” mode). This post https://blog.bulletproof.com/deep-breathing-exercises/ offers three breathing exercises that will get you into the calm, focused, energized state, no equipment necessary.
Zen Mode is the culmination of countless hours of research and experimentation with one goal in mind: Create a natural feeling of Zen. Picture the most time-tested and studied herbal remedies, married with cutting-edge neuro-nutrients. The result is a unique formula that delivers stress-relief when you need it most. Here are a few of the many ingredients worth a look:
- Holy Basil Leaf Extract, Saffron Extract, and Sceletium tortuosum – traditionally used to lower stress and to clear the mind
- Ashwagandha – a potent herb that supports healthy adrenal function, which mitigates stress because the adrenals produce stress hormones
- L-Theanine – increases alpha brain waves while decreasing beta waves, resulting in an alert state of relaxation without causing drowsiness
Start a meditation practice
Your brain doesn’t fire on all cylinders when it’s overloaded. Too much brain activity, like working constantly or getting distracted by too many phone notifications, burns out the insula, the part of the brain that regulates your attention. You have to turn “off” every now and then. It’s not weakness, it’s simply biology.
Meditation decreases excessive brain activity. It also increases alpha brain waves that are associated with creativity and relaxation.
Regular meditation improves emotional regulation and attention control, both of which factor into your overall stress load. At the same time, meditation strengthens the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the insula, which increases your empathy and helps you have more positive interactions with everyone around you.