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Today's Creation Moment

Oct
01
Delicate, Precise Designs
Matthew 6:28
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:"
When a flower lives in harmony with and is dependent upon, say, an insect for fertilization, this is known as symbiosis. Creation Moments programs have given many examples of this, and each one...
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Is Your Brain Shrinking Because of Stress?

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

If stress is an everyday part of your life, or if some past trauma has continued to haunt your thoughts every day, you may be losing part of your brain. Several studies have linked such constant or obsessive stress with a shrinking of the part of your brain called the hippocampus. Studies show that under such conditions this part of the brain can become 25 percent smaller than normal. These findings should get our attention since we use the hippocampus for long term memory and conscious memory. This is the same part of the brain attacked by Alzheimer's disease. The good news is that once we remove the stress, or deal constructively with past trauma, the hippocampus returns, with time, to normal size. Several theories have been offered by researchers to explain why the hippocampus shrinks under stress; however other researchers are not convinced that stress causes the shrinkage.

Is it possible for a Christian to avoid the damage that stress produces? Look at all that St. Paul endured for the sake of the Gospel, and yet all of his writings show no evidence of unusual memory loss, which is common when one is under constant stress. One way to avoid stress damage is to remove the cause of the stress. If that's not possible, another strategy is to learn how to deal with past traumatic events. And what better way to do this than to remind ourselves of the Lord's past faithfulness to us, and, in prayer, commend all our fears and stress into His hands. Science is learning that life is indeed more than food and clothing.

Prayer: 
I cast all my cares, fears and worries on You, oh Lord. Amen.
Notes: 
Robert Sapolasky, Stress and Your Shrinking Brain, Discover, March 1999