Stress Less

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Stress Less (AU$6.99)

Stress Less

Stress is what we feel when we’re overworked, when we’re dreading something that’s about to happen or when we’re generally unable to relax and stay calm due to outside or inside factors influencing our thoughts.

But it actually goes beyond this. Stress is a basic physiological reaction that is designed to help us focus and survive. In itself it is not a bad thing and is actually rather adaptive. The problem is that it has been taken out of context, which means the positive effects become outweighed by the negative.

Essentially, stress is what causes the ‘fight or flight response’. This is a physiological response to perceived danger, designed to improve our chances of survival. If you were to see a lion for example, this would trigger a cascade of effects collectively resulting in the stress response.

This begins when we observe danger or experience fear. Increased activity in our brain, causes the release of adrenaline, as well as dopamine, norepinephrine and cortisol – our stress hormones. These then trigger a number of physiological changes: increasing our heartrate, making us breathe more quickly and making us more acutely focussed on the potential threat.

A list of the symptoms should include:
  • Increased heartrate
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Muscle contraction
  • Tunnel vision
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Increased blood viscosity
  • Suppression of the pain response
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Suppression of the digestive system
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Dilation of the blood vessels
  • Reduction in prefrontal cortex activity (temporo-hypofrontality)

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