In today’s society there are many people who suffer from (chronic) stress.
What is Stress?
Stress is a very old mechanism of our brain to aid in our chances of survival. Stress activates the fight, flight, and freeze mechanism in your brain. This means that if you are suddenly confronted with a lion, your body will optimize for survival and escape.
Many basic processes in your body are temporarily stopped, including your digestion, your immune system, your creative thinking, your reproduction. Your body uses all the energy to escape, a lot of energy goes to your muscles and your brain goes into tunnel vision to find the escape route.
Suppose in such a situation that your immune system was just busy fighting a virus or bacteria, your body will ‘stop’ the immune system temporarily during stress. Because if you get eaten by the lion, that bacteria or virus no longer matters. Your body sets priorities.
What does this have to do with the current forms of stress that we are familiar with? Your brain does not know the difference between stress from the lion suddenly facing you or stress from a busy job, hectic family, social pressure, and fears.
The stress of the lion is a short moment, after which your body can relax again. The stress we know today often lasts much longer and becomes chronic stress. As you will understand, this has far-reaching consequences. If your immune system is put on hold to escape for that lion, it can buffer that because it is for a short time. You have to consider that your immune system is put on hold for several days, weeks, months.
For the solutions to stressful situations you often need your creative thinking, something that cannot be achieved from stress tunnel vision. In this way (chronic) stress creates a negative spiral.
Reduce stress / deal with stress
How do you break free from this spiral? There are many ways to relax your body when you are under stress. Think of exercise, being in nature, meditation, and yoga. Anything that can get you out of your head and back into your body. So that you can be aware in the moment again, mindful, and therefore you will have access again to the full capacities of your brain, among other things. Then you come out of the tunnel vision, your Immun system goes back on, you have your creative thinking at your disposal again and beautiful solutions often emerge. By taking a step back from a situation you can often see things in a completely different light.
Drink a lot of water in case of stress
Your body loses a lot of water during stress. It is important to drink a lot of extra water to keep your body hydrated. Our body needs water to allow all processes and organs to function and to be able to remove toxic substances. It is therefore important to drink a lot of extra water during stress. This also applies to children, of course, give them extra water during exam weeks.
This website contains various exercises and principles to reduce stress. There are many different options, it is important to feel which one feels and works well for you. When you experience stress the next time, you now have handles to let it go quickly.