As I described in my blog post a couple of days ago, I have had a time-out because I showed signs of being over-worked.
When I had rested for a while, I started my recovery by learning more about how the brains functions and in what diferent ways the brain is affected by stress.
First I read an extremely inspiring book by Johan Norberg called ”Hjärnrevolutionen” (The Brain Revolution). It gave a very clear base of understaning how the brain works. It was scaring to read about how stress affects the brain, causing reduced growth of new brain cells and making it more difficult for the various parts of the brain to communicate with each other. Here is an article från Psychology Today that explains how chronic stress can damage brain structure and connectivity.
”The ‘stress hormone’ cortisol is believed to create a domino effect that hard-wires pathways between the hippocampus and amygdala in a way that might create a vicious cycle by creating a brain that becomes predisposed to be in a constant state of fight-or-flight”. (Psychology Today)
I did not want that to happen to my brain!
So, I searched for more information on how to recover. In Psychology Today I found another interesting article on how reducing the levels of cortisone; by physical acitivity, meditation, social connectivity, having fun and music.
In Sandrine Thurets outstanding TED talk ”You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how” I learned a lot more about taking care of my brain.
So I made plans for my recovery. I was lucky as I already knew how to do yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Now I did these activities every day. I also took walks evey day and practised running every other day. I used my creativity to practise focusing – by writing, making sculptures in polymer clay, by drawing and by making clothes. I also went to Colorado Springs for a week to walk around in solitude in the Rockies and to visit The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. I was very careful with food. And day by day I felt better and better. Now I feel better than I have done in years.
And one thing I know for sure: I will never, ever let myself be subjected to chronic stress any more in my life. It is far too dangerous for my brain.