If you were to ask the first person you see about their view on stress they will most likely say It's bad. We associate stress with increase heart disease, poor mental health, and in a chronic state it can do a great damage to your quality of life. Now imagine where you would be in life without out it. As bad of a reputation as we have built up for stress, it is the drive that leads to our accomplishments. Stress, when it is temporary and well managed it gives us the opportunity to vision, innovate, and create.
When you start to think about the physiology of stress you feel an increase in heart rate, increase in breathing, and decrease in appetite. For a brief time it is beneficial because it increases blood and oxygen to your brain along with vital organs. This stress process is what puts the image in imagine. That's where the light bulb turns on and ideas come to existence.
The stress response is also called the fight or flight response. The exact mechanism is the stimulation of our sympathetic nervous system. This course of action leads to the physiological changes our bodies exhibits during a stressful period. It is our bodies natural response to stepping outside of our comfort zone and our adaptation in times of unpredictability.
Adrenaline and noradrenaline are the main hormones released during times of stress. These hormones are the cause of the changes listed below. Another hormone released during stress is oxytocin, also referred to as the "love hormone". It has been associated with the ability for an individual to open up and bond with others during stressful periods. Everyone has been behind in a group project, but eventual the group syncs together and their business is accomplished.
The reason your eyes dilate during the night is to allow more light to enter. During stress, ocular dilation occurs allowing the brain to capture more of the environment. When visual capacity increases you're better able to process what is going on. The efficiency of discerning a situation is increased.
To better explain this I'll shed some basic human anatomy on this, bronchi are passages for air to enter the lungs. By relaxing they are able to hold more air, leading to an increase in oxygen. Temporary acceleration in our heart rate is beneficial, the key word being "temporary". If your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 that is not a sign of good health, but that is a whole different subject altogether. That interim increase in heart rate allows more oxygen to enter the brain. This jolt of oxygen supplied by the lungs and heart contributes to a more proficient thought process and increase mental capability.
Glucose is fuel for our bodies. Long-term effects of increased glucose are harmful and should not be sustained, it can lead to diabetes. However, a brief spike in glucose permits cells to absorb more energy and work harder. When cells work harder you work harder. Maybe this temporary rush is what you need to get through that term paper or corporate presentation. It is unfortunately followed by a crash in which you may feel tired. but hey, at least the hard part's over.
Before you affiliate all negativity with stress, think about it. In no notion am I promoting stress or wishing lots of stress on any human being. I want you to consider that this is a physical sign and feeling of change that your body is promoting. Maybe you just need to get things done or put yourself in a better situation. Don't associate this stressful period with a barrier, think of it as your body helping you. Your body is facilitating change. It increases brain activity by providing it with an increased supply of oxygen and fuel. Use this temporary benefit and accomplish a goal or the task at hand. Consider it a natural pre-workout and let your aspirations become an actuality. After all, a response is what you make of it.
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