Does Stress Interfere with Learning?

stress zones inverted U

Recently, I started a quest to find out how stress interferes with learning and if it does interfere with learning. We’ll that journey lead me into the world of neuroplasticity (changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in behavior, environment, emotions, and thinking. From there I became training in systems that helps the brain get prepared for learning, when lower and midbrain development is incomplete. So that is why I have not blogged in a while. I have been playing around in the world of neuro-pathways.

Let’s look at the question, does stress interfere with learning?

In the article, The Powerful Impact of Stress V. Tennant talks about stress and learning and using positive emotions to combat stress.  In it she states, It’s normal to have a touch of apprehension and butterflies in the stomach before a test or perhaps a big meeting. This is the positive side of the stress curve that enhances performance. However, when the anxiety gets out of control and cross to the other side of the curve, performance plummets. The key is to keep everything balanced. When you or in this case students start to not manage stress effectively, it is time to look at strategies that help with stress management.
I teach my clients all emotions come from their core…or gut and that every emotional response will trigger a reminder to them that is either painful or pleasurable. Positive emotions not only help with stress management, but also helps with  concentrate, solve problems, creativity, learning, and memory.Researchers at the HeartMath Institute found that positive emotions such as feelings of love, appreciation, peacefulness, and playfulness produce an even heartbeat rhythm(coherence). A coherent heart is a less stressful heart. Here are tips on creating you own heart coherence.

Step 1. Take a time-out, breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine the air entering and leavingthrough the heart area or the center of your chest.

Step 2. Try to disengage from your stressful thoughts and feelings as you continue to breathe.

Step 3. Continue until you have neutralized the emotional charge around the issue, by thinking of something positive.

This entry was posted in Emotional Resilience, Stress Management, Workplace Stress and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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