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How Stress Damages the Brain

Stressed Brain

Stressed Brain

Stress, pressure, fatigue, poor diet, alcohol, and drugs damage neural connections between the brain’s prefrontal cortex — or “CEO” — and the rest of the brain. When you are overtired or under intense mental or physical stress, the brain bypasses its “higher,” more evolved, rational frontal executive circuits — it starts using more primitive stimulus/response pathways. Consequently, you respond to daily demands without thinking; you make impulsive, shortsighted decisions. When the CEO goes “offline,” strong emotions, such as fear and anger, take over, adversely coloring your view of the world.

STRESS SIGNS

  • Weak executive functioning
  • Tendency towards
    • Rigid thinking
    • Impulsive, reactive behavior
    • Shortsighted decision-making
    • Poor working memory
    • Distracted attention
    • Drug and alcohol abuse
    • Unethical thinking and behavior
    • Stressed physiology
  • Tendency towards
    • Fatigue
    • High blood pressure
    • Eating and sleep disorders
    • Weak immune system
    • Imbalanced emotions
  • Tendency towards
    • Low self-esteem and self-confidence
    • Worries, anxieties, and fears
    • Shallow, divisive emotions
    • Unstable relationships
    • Depression

How TM Optimizes the Brain

Meditating Brain

Meditating Brain

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique provides the experience of “restful alertness,” which reduces stress, strengthens communication between the brain’s prefrontal cortex and different areas of the brain, and develops total brain functioning. As a result, the TM practitioner displays stronger executive functions, with more purposeful thinking and farsighted decision-making. When the CEO is fully “online,” the emotional response to the world is more balanced and appropriate. (See research).

TM SIGNS

  • Strong executive functioning
  • Tendency towards
    • Purposeful, flexible thinking
    • Non-impulsive, proactive behavior
    • Farsighted decision-making
    • Excellent working memory
    • Settled, focused attention
    • No substance abuse or addictions
    • Ethical thinking and behavior
    • Healthy physiology
  • Tendency towards
    • Energy and vitality
    • Fit cardiovascular system
    • Balanced physiology
    • Strong immune functioning
    • Balanced emotions
  • Tendency towards
    • Self-confidence and secure self-esteem
    • Feelings of safety and peace
    • Compassion and empathy for others
    • Healthy interpersonal relations
    • Happiness and optimism

Learn more

To learn more about the TM program, see www.tm.org

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