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压力如何影响你的大脑? – 译学馆
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压力如何影响你的大脑?

How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia

你睡觉会不安 感觉急躁或易怒
Are you sleeping restlessly, feeling irritable or moody,
忘记一些小事 感觉不知所措和孤独吗?
forgetting little things, and feeling overwhelmed and isolated?
不必担心 我们都会那样
Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.
你很有可能只是压力过大
You’re probably just stressed out.
有压力也不总是一件坏事
Stress isn’t always a bad thing.
它会帮你爆发出
It can be handy for a burst
额外的能量和专注力
of extra energy and focus,
比如当你参加一项竞争性的运动
like when you’re playinga competitive sport,
或当你必须要在公共面前发言的时候
or have to speak in public.
但如果压力一直持续
But when its continuous,
每天我们中大多数人都在接连不断地承受着压力
the kind most of us face day in and day out,
它就开始实实在在地改变你的大脑
it actually begins to change your brain.
长期的压力 像工作过度或家庭争吵
Chronic stress, like being overworkedor having arguments at home,
会影响大脑的尺寸 结构以及功能
can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions,
甚至会影响你的基因
right down to the level of your genes.
压力起于一种叫HPA轴的东西
Stress begins with something called the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis,
在大脑的内分泌腺
a series of interactions
和肾脏之间进行一系列的相互作用
between endocrine glands in the brainand on the kidney,
它会控制身体对压力的反应
which controlsyour body’s reaction to stress.
当大脑发现压力的存在时
When your brain detectsa stressful situation,
你的HPA轴就会立即活跃起来
your HPA axis is instantly activated
并释放皮质醇激素提醒你的身体做好立即行动的准备
and releases a hormone called cortisol, which primes your body for instant action.
但皮质醇水平长期偏高
But high levels of cortisolover long periods of time
会对你的大脑造成严重伤害
wreak havoc on your brain.
例如 长期的压力会增加活动水平
For example, chronic stress increasesthe activity level
和杏仁核中的神经连接数
and number of neural connectionsin the amygdala,
即大脑中的恐惧中心
your brain’s fear center.
随着皮质醇含量的上升 海马体中的电信号
And as levels of cortisol rise, electric signals in your hippocampus,
那个在大脑中与学习 记忆 压力控制相关的部分就会恶化
the part of the brain associated with learning, memories, and stress control, deteriorate.
海马体也会抑制HPA轴的活动
The hippocampus also inhibitsthe activity of the HPA axis,
所以当它变弱时 你控制压力的能力也会变弱
so when it weakens, so does your ability to control your stress.
但这还不是全部
That’s not all, though.
皮质醇可以使你的大脑萎缩
Cortisol can literally cause your brainto shrink in size.
当它过量时就会导致
Too much of it results in the loss
神经元之间突触连接的减少
of synaptic connections between neurons
和前额皮质层的萎缩
and the shrinkingof your prefrontal cortex,
那是你大脑控制注意力 决策
the part of your brain the regulatesbehaviors like concentration, decision-making,
判断和社交互动等行为的部位
judgement, and social interaction.
它还会导致海马体中新生脑细胞减少
It also leads to fewer new brain cells being made in the hippocampus.
这意味长期的压力可能会让你
This means chronic stress might make it harder
在学习 和记东西方面更加困难
for you to learn and remember things,
也为更严重的心理问题埋下了隐患
and also set the stage for more serious mental problems,
比如抑郁症 老年痴呆
like depressionand eventually Alzheimer’s disease.
压力的影响还可能会渗透到你大脑DNA中
The effects of stress may filter right down to your brain’s DNA.
一项实验表明
An experiment showed
母鼠对孩子的培育情况
that the amount of nurturing a mother rat provides its newborn baby
对她的孩子在以后的生活中如何应对压力有决定性作用
plays a part in determining how that baby responds to stress later in life.
被鼠妈妈悉心照顾的幼崽变得对压力不太敏感
The pups of nurturing moms turned outless sensitive to stress
因为它们的大脑会产生更多与皮质醇紧密联系的受体
because their brains developedmore cortisol receptors,
用来抑制应激反应
which stick to cortisoland dampen the stress response.
而被鼠妈妈粗心大意喂养的幼崽呈现相反的结果
The pups of negligent momshad the opposite outcome,
它们一生都对压力更加敏感
and so became more sensitive to stressthroughout life.
这被认为是表观遗传变异
These are considered epigenetic changes,
即在不直接更改基因代码的前提下
meaning that they effectwhich genes are expressed
影响基因的表达
without directly changingthe genetic code.
如果交换鼠妈妈 这些变化就会反转
And these changes can be reversedif the moms are swapped.
还有一个令人惊讶的实验结果
But there’s a surprising result.
一只鼠妈妈导致的表观遗传变异
The epigenetic changes caused byone single mother rat
会传递给她后面的好几代老鼠
were passed down to many generationsof rats after her.
换句话说 这些行为是会遗传的
In other words, the resultsof these actions were inheritable.
但也不全是坏消息
It’s not all bad news, though.
有许多方式可以改变皮质醇对你紧张的大脑的影响
There are many ways to reverse what cortisol does to your stressed brain.
最有用的方式是锻练和冥想
The most powerful weapons are exerciseand meditation,
深呼吸 感受并专注周围环境
which involves breathing deeply and being aware and focused on your surroundings.
这些方法会缓解你的压力
Both of these activitiesdecrease your stress
增加海马体大小
and increase the size of the hippocampus,
从而改善你的记忆
thereby improving your memory.
所以不要被生活中的压力打败
So don’t feel defeatedby the pressures of daily life.
只有控制好你的压力 才不会被压力控制
Get in control of your stress before it takes control of you.

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视频概述

压力并不总是坏事,它可以帮你获得更多能量和注意力,但如果压力超过自己的承受范围,它会改变你的大脑。视频展示了压力如何影响大脑大小、结构、和功能,再到你的DNA。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuyPuH9ojCE

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