Stress proved that Cortisol can literally cause your brain

Stress is not always a bad. It can be
useful when you need a burst of energy or focus, say, if you’re in a unique
situation like playing a sport competitively, or if you have to give a speech.

However, when it becomes persistent like the kind that most of us face on a
daily basis, it begins to alter your brain and its chemistry. Chronic stress
can affect brain size as well as its structure and how it functions. This occurs
by having too many arguments that lead to us becoming stressed and it can also occur
from being overworked.  

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Stress is initiated with something called
the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis. They are a set of connections between
endocrine glands in the brain and the kidney. They control the body’s reaction
to stress. When you are in a stressful scenario, your HPA axis is activated and
produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol sets your body for immediate
action. However, high levels of it over prolonged periods can actually wreak
havoc on the brain, for instance, chronic stress increases the level of
activity and the number of neural connections in the amygdala which is your
brains fear centre. As levels of cortisol increase, the electoral signals in
your hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with learning, memories, and
stress control start to weaken and lose connection with one and other. The
hippocampus also prevents the activity of the HPA axis, so when it weakens,
your ability to control stress also gets out of your control. The issue is that
this is not the whole story. Based on scientific research it has been proved
that Cortisol can literally cause your brain to shrink. Too much of it can lead
to loss of synaptic connections between neurons and the shrinking of your
prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that controls behaviours such as
concentration, decision making, judgment, and social interaction.