Neurobiology of Stress Management
This is a professional certification for the people who want to work in the area of stress management. It is a part of the larger specialization – “Stress Management Certification”.
What you will Learn in Neuroscience of Stress?
Neuroscience of Stress
Stress affects nervous system. This is the primary reason why we should care about it. Our brain processes different tasks in different parts of it. The system it uses and the bodily areas it affects are also different. Hence, it is called neural circuits.
Physical and psychological stressors engage separate but potentially overlapping neural brain circuits. Physical stressors are processed primarily by the lower and primitive part of the brain called brainstem. It also engages hypothalamic regions.
Psychological stressors are processed with the emotional center of the brain called limbic system. It also involves the prefrontal cortex.
Two complementary biological pathways mediate the stress response: the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Phase 1 : Within the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is the first phase responder of the body’s stress processing. This response occurs before conscious awareness and within a second of the brain’s detection of the stressor.
The sympathetic-adreno-medullar (SAM) axis activates the adrenal medulla of the adrenal glands (which sit on the kidneys), releasing adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream. The SNS provides a rapid response, activating the cardiovascular system and increasing alertness, vigilance, and the ability to appraise the situation.
Phase 2 : The second phase of the body’s stress response engages the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis is where the well known stress hormone cortisol is produced. It intertwines the central nervous system and the endocrine system.
Signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary release cortisol from the adrenal glands. Main job of the The hypothalamus is to integrate body functions to maintain homeostasis. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, then crosses cell membranes to enter the brain to lock into its receptors. Cortisol signals back on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to regulate cortisol’s production.
Highlights of the Course
Benefits of Endorphin Courses/Certifications/Training:
- Internship opportunities
Why Stress Management is important?
The way each person perceives and reacts to traumatic experiences and stress is very complex and dependent on a range of variables and an individual’s unique qualities. It is important for providers to recognize both what is occurring in the brain and body under duress and the efforts that can help counteract those impacts.
The body’s reaction to stress is mediated in large part by the limbic system, the emotional center that makes the complex connections between the sensory system, the nervous system, hormones and major organs (McEwen, 2006; Perry, 2005). With positive or even tolerable levels of stress, neurotransmitters work within all areas of the brain, sending the proper signals to allow us to think, act, feel and form new memories (Perry, 2013).
When a person is exposed to a threat or danger, even if it is just a perceived danger, the body naturally responds by releasing stress hormones such as cortisol which sends signals throughout the entire system. These hormones, when not excessively activated, cue the body to respond appropriately and protectively, helping the individual survive challenging or traumatic situations.
However, chronically or permanently elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels are detrimental to an individual’s well-being and healthy development. Too much cortisol has a negative impact on the proper functioning of the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex, and the body’s immune system, which over the long term can lead to severe and sometimes lasting damage throughout all of these systems (AAP, 2012; Perry, 2013).