What happens to our brains when we are stressed – and tips to cope | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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What happens to our brains when we are stressed – and tips to cope

Join a free online seminar to discover the neuroscience behind stress and anxiety – and the latest research on lifestyle habits and brain-based strategies that can lead to greater calm and mental wellbeing.

Hosted by the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute as part of World Mental Health Day, the webinar will run from 12pm -1pm on Tuesday 10 October.

Thompson Institute Community Health Educator Kali Gray, who is co-presenting the webinar, says it will draw on cutting-edge neuroscience to explain what is happening in people’s brains when they feel stressed or anxious.

“This session will cover how to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, how to apply evidence-based cognitive strategies to help manage them, and other lifestyle tips to support mental wellbeing,” Mrs Gray said.

This includes daily habits that can improve brain health, stress levels and mental wellbeing.

“Simple lifestyle factors like moving your body, getting enough sleep and being more mindful can lower anxiety, improve your stress and support your brain health now and in the future,” Mrs Gray said.

Participants can also find out how to access mental health support and hear insights from the Thompson Institute’s research team on the role of novel drug treatments to manage stress-related disorders.

“While stress is a normal response to everyday pressures or demands, feeling stressed is not all ‘in your head’ and it is not something we should over-normalise,” Mrs Gray said.

“It is actually the result of real changes happening in your body and brain, so it is important to understand what is going on when we are feeling these emotions,” she said.

“If we are constantly stressed, it can make us more vulnerable. Chronic stress also remodels your brain in a way that makes you less able to cope with stressors – both now and in the future.

If we don’t take steps to manage it, stress can increase your risk of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression illness.”

Free tickets to the ‘Understanding the Neuroscience of Stress and Anxiety’ webinar can be booked here.

Media enquiries: Please contact the Media Team media@usc.edu.au