Stress and Your Brain

When was the last time you thought about taking care of your brain?  Your limbic, or emotional brain is responsible for how you respond to stress.  It is the part of your brain that controls your emotional responses, your mood, your memory, your sense of smell, your desire to eat or have sex.  It is the brain center for your emotional wellness and that wellness is contingent upon your healthy limbic system.  Below is a list of things you can do on a daily basis to keep your limbic system healthy and resilient.

  • Get a massage
  • Meditate, Pray, Do Yoga
  • Listen to music
  • Rock in a chair or hammock
  • Laugh!
  • Spend time in nature
  • Exercise
  • Hug someone you love
  • Use aromatherapy.  Use lavender or chamomile for calming and citrus or mint for energy
  • Pet or brush your dog or cat
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Socialize with a cheerful friend
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains
  • Replace saturated fats with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Seek counseling when necessary.

Do something today to take care of your limbic system.   Let me know what you do!

About Gretchen Derda (Woosley), MSW, LCSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a private psychotherapy practice where I specialize in work with families and children. My focus is to help families improve their functioning so that each member of the family can reach their full potential, becoming the persons they were meant to be.
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8 Responses to Stress and Your Brain

  1. catie says:

    this is really timely, gretchen. my brain feels literally itchy from the stress of my weekend.
    ned has a new button to push ~ pretending he can’t hear me, which he sometimes can’t b/c of an ear infection. thank you for this list – i’ve already hugged some i love, smelled my lavender sachet, eaten some hazelnuts, and pet my cat : ) i feel better already.

    • Gretchen D. Woosley, MSW, LCSW says:

      I love your description of your brain feeling itchy! Sounds as if you’re taking good care of your limbic system today. Good for you. 🙂

  2. Dianne says:

    Happy to report I have kept my 30 minute daily exercise program going for 8 months now. The only day off was Christmas. 🙂 I even made Mary walk 30 minutes with me while in NJ. Aren’t you proud? ha! This list makes perfect sense . Those are all “feel good” things that get pushed aside for things we think we need to do.
    PS…Rubbing Ranger as I write this!

  3. Emily says:

    Well, I’m meeting a friend for tea this morning. I was so excited when she called as we haven’t seen each other in a while. And we have beautiful weather coming tomorrow so I plan on spending some extra time outdoors.

    • Gretchen D. Woosley, MSW, LCSW says:

      Em, Glad to here that spring is coming to Colorado!
      BTW, I’m wearing my newest necklace today. I just love it! I think it’s good for my limbic system. 🙂

  4. Dawn says:

    I spent time in nature yesterday :) back to my exercise routine, am taking more bubble baths, sticking to my vegetarian diet, and trying to laugh and hug alot!! Thanks for your great list!

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