The Biology of Stress
Stress has always existed. It is a natural phenomenon that humans and animals have in common. We know for sure that all mammals (hereby also humans) stress. It is the same hormones which are activated for all mammals and it is driven by the same area of the brain, namely the primitive part of the brain, deep inside the organ.
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Humans have this part of the brain in common with all other mammals, but we have an exterior part of the brain, a couple of “layers”, so to speak, which is very developed. Not all mammals have as much brain-material around their primitive brain.
This developed part of our brain is a good thing, this is what gives us a very developed social life. But it is not always good when we speak about stress, because this part of the brain may produce stress, just by the power of thoughts.
Stress has an influence on all our body. When we are stressed, we release a stress hormone, which means that we get into another state. Another state of mind and another physical state. Generally, we get in this state if we feel we are in danger and we are getting ready to fight or flee: Adrenalin gets pumped up in our body, our heart beats quicker, our muscles get ready for action (fight or flight) and get tense. Then, another hormone is released: Cortisol. That hormone gives us some extra power by using big amount of energy from our body.
All of our senses are sharpened and this is why, when we are under stress, we are more efficient: We are more attentive to what is happening and therefore, we can easier do more than one thing at a time, we are more efficient, we can remember better.
So isn’t a bad thing, so to speak. It has its justification and a good reason to be here.
Now, as you can see, the state in which our mind and body go to, is an acute state. That means that it is a state of being used for extreme situation. Generally dangerous ones. All these hormones and that heightened state we are in, is not meant to be a constant state. It is supposed to be used in acute situations.
Dangerous situation arises => Stress hormones get pumped up => Your “machine” is getting boosted => You can take care of the situation (or flee from it) => Hormones stop pumping up and you need rest so the whole machine is getting back to its usual state.
It takes a few minutes before the level of stress hormones is going down, and it will take hours before your body is back in “normal-mode”.
Therefore, it is no surprise that if you are constantly in “high awareness mode” with Adrenaline and Cortisol almost constantly pumping in your system, this will not do you good. It is a state supposed to be used on rare occasions, not a state you are supposed to be in for a long period of time. Your body wasn’t built for that.
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More from wikipedia.org on The Biology of Stress
Stress biology Stress is a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or human biological systems Biology primarily attempts to.…
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