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Learning About Stress

As much as we strive to live a "stress-free" life, we do need stress in our life. Stress is part of a natural biological system in the body. It is how the body prepares to fight or flight from perceived threats. When a person is in a stressful situation, cortisol is released in the body triggering the fight or flight response. This response prepares the body to respond to the situation. In simple terms it is the body's defense system. However, if a person is in a chronic stressful situation excessive cortisol in the body has a negative impact.

One of the negative impacts that excessive cortisol has is in on our brain and learning. Too much cortisol in the system shrinks the brain and hinders learning. It impacts different areas of the brain that are connected with memory and learning, not allowing them to process or retrieve information as effectively or as efficiently as before. Don't worry though because the human body is amazing, and has a natural way to release excessive cortisol from the body. If you've ever been so stressed that you need to cry, this is a good sign. Crying is the body's natural way of releasing excessive cortisol from the body.

Stress impacts both adults and youth. As each of our families navigate this new journey there are sure to be moments of stress. Listen in this episode of "Different Side of Learning" as Shakira sits down with art therapist, Claire Nicholls who shares the many ways that art therapy can help mental health issues in children and youth.

" Art therapy is a medium that allows people to express themselves and to self-reflect in an unfiltered way."

Claire says that parents face a lot of unexpected challenges and she encourages family members to tap into their "young self" through doing something. It doesn't have to be an art project it can be things like writing a poem, or even just making a craft or dinner together. Being creative together opens your mind to so many possibilities! See the entire episode below...

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