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Four things to know about stress: What it is, what it does, how to deal with it, how to prevent it - Dr William Stixrud
by Linda Egenes
Enlightenment Magazine Translate This Article
19 December 2011
William Stixrud, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist and director of William Stixrud & Associates in Silver Spring, Maryland, a group practice specializing in learning, attention, and emotional disorders. Dr. Stixrud is an adjunct faculty member at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In a recent interview, Dr Stixrud gave an indepth analysis of stress and its effects on the mind, emotions, and physiology.
Stress today is so prevalent, he said, that many people maintain a chronic stress response, which means that they stay in the 'fight or flight' response mode for a long time.
Dr Stixrud described the effects of stress in the brain. Stress changes the balance of neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for thinking clearly and carrying out purposeful, goal-directed behavior.
Stress shuts down the thinking part of the brain so that we can respond to threat instinctively and reflexively. The amygdala, which detects threat, starts working overtime and gets bigger. Thus, the more anxious and stressed you are, the more anxious you become.
In the last part of the interview, Dr Stixrud discussed how to deal with stress and how to actually prevent it in adults and children. He described scientifically verified benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique in helping to 'normalize' the stress response, and particularly in reducing stress in children and adolescents.
Global Good News will feature the detailed explanations about each of the above topics that Dr Stixrud brought out in the interview.
* Dr Stixrud is coauthor of a recent study published in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry showing effects of Transcendental Meditation in improving brain functioning in students with ADHD.
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