This is your brain on stress

November 3, 2020   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

A recent Axios Science newsletter summarizes some of the recent research about the effects of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty on the brain. Stressful reactions have survival value in alerting the body to potential threats. But chronic and recurrent stresses, fear, and uncertainty can challenge a person’s resilience and ability to cope. The research summarized in the article points to differences in the brain between people who tolerate uncertainty better than others in whom uncertainly provokes more anxiety. While most integrative healthcare providers don’t have access to fMRI to examine their patient’s brains, all providers can make meaningful inquiries into patient’s mental health and how they deal with stress. If appropriate, have referral information on hand for patients who indicate increased levels of stress or anxiety.