For many of us Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season. It’s a wonderful time of year. Family and friends gather to share a meal and laughter. People connect with loved ones they haven’t seen in a while.
But along with all the best parts of the holidays, there is another side–one that may be affecting your brain health. Stress is ever-present for many people throughout the holiday season. We have come to accept holiday stress as normal, to the detriment of our wellness.
The good news is that there are many things we can do to deactivate the body’s stress response.
Culturally, we look at these times of intense stress as just part of life. We smile and bear it, planning to make up for it when life slows down. But science paints a different picture—prolonged stress changes our brains, in ways that range from impairing our short-term memory to an increased likelihood of mental health disturbances. Chronic stress does damage to the brain that can’t always be undone. It is important that we learn to manage our stress. Prevention is always the best medicine!
Visualize a square, and imagine your breath moving like a dot along its edges. Starting at the top right corner, breathe in for four counts as the dot travels across the top of the square. Hold for four counts as the dot travels down the right side. Breathe out as it moves along the bottom edge of the square and hold for four counts as the dot travels back up the left side.
Our hope is always to provide you with more resources for managing holiday stress and supporting your brain health in the coming year; to take a look at the ways BrainTap can help, click here!
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