Hight stress reduces cognitive ability study finds
According to a recent study, people who are under a lot of stress are far more likely to undergo cognitive decline, which can impair their ability to recall, focus, and acquire new information. It is well recognized that stress has a negative physical impact on the body, increasing the likelihood of health problems like impaired immune function and stroke. Also, it may encourage harmful habits like smoking and insufficient exercise.
The researchers discovered that those with high levels of stress remained 37% more certain to have impaired cognition, even after controlling for several such physical risk factors.
The difficulties that memory lapses provide might generate stress in those who struggle with them. Nevertheless, the latest research reveals that there is also an opposite relationship, with stress-related sensations causing negative impacts on cognitive.
How can stress impact our capacity for thought?
The overuse of mediators that regulate the stress response can be brought on by high levels of worry at work and extended durations of stress. This buildup of tension is referred to as "allostatic load," and it can negatively impact parts of the brain including the caudate nucleus and medial prefrontal cortex (Soares et al., 2012). According to McEwen (2003), depressive illnesses are linked to high allostatic loads, which can manifest behaviorally as heightened alertness that is either sustained by anxiety or made worse by it.
Cognitive cost results from brain atrophy brought on by prolonged exposure to stressful situations. Moreover, it has been discovered that stress impairs working memory, attention, reaction inhibition, and cognitive flexibility In work, deficits in these areas lead to a diminished capacity for focus, impulse control, memory, and planning. According to one study, after taking a stress test that required them to create a speech for 10 minutes with a live audience, participants' recall and planning skills were worse than they were before the test. Stress, therefore, therefore reduced their performance.
Managing Stress as You Get Older
There are some actions you should take, regardless of your age, if there is a past of severe stress, dementia, or Alzheimer's in your family, or if you want to lower your likelihood of developing dementia in your old life. First, a wealth of research has demonstrated that one of the greatest ways to enhance cognitive function is via maintaining excellent cardiovascular health. According to research that examined twins, the twin that had superior cardiovascular health—including lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels—also showed greater memory. This implies that food and exercise are crucial for general cognition. Together with efforts to minimize "pathologic" or chronic stress using tested techniques like meditation and sleep hygiene, Lastly, studies suggest that optimism in general and positive thinking might help us manage stress and enhance our view on life. Because of our brains' declining capacity to recuperate from stress as we get older, Brinton claims that the effects of stress may get more severe. Hence, if stress is interfering with your ability to operate on a daily basis, think about obtaining counselling and professional treatment as soon as possible. In the end, getting therapy is crucial for your long-term brain health as well as your short-term mental health.
Stress may negatively affect the body's physical and mental functioning, raising the risk of health issues and promoting harmful behaviours. As you age, it becomes more crucial to manage stress since it can decrease working memory, attention, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility.