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Few weeks ago I read an interesting report from Helen Thomson on the “New Scientist” review, titled “Always with cool head”, about stress and how to deal with it.
It happens that in tough situations, like the one we are living now, some people seem not to be overtaken by emotions, never losing good mood, maybe also joking after something bad has just happened! We all know someone so...
But first, what is stress? What we call stress, and by the way is inevitable, even if in varying degrees, is a chemical reaction starting from our brain, more precisely from the amygdala that is always attentive in identifying potential threats.Amygdala combines informations with memories to assess if responding to emergency is necessary. If the alarm goes off our brain gives two possible answers: adrenaline levels can rise and accellerate heartbeat, or hormones are released, hormones like cortisol that keeps activated stress response and release the glucose stocked in our body to give us more energy. When the emergency is over, all levels normalize.
Of course this is necessary when we find ourselves in a real danger, but sometimes happens that the “answer” shoots in vain, or in such a powerful way to overtake us, also causing depression or post traumatic stress disorder.
So, stress can be good or bad, it depends on how we deal with it, and ability to return to normality when the emergency is over is called resilience.
But what can make us more resilient? If you want further informations please read Helen Thomson's article, I'll just tell you what impressed me:
Sense of humor, because being able to see the funny side of situations and laughting tempers the negative effects of stress. By laughting we release hormones that make us feel better, and less inclined to dwell.
Estabilish relations, because friendship and love give us an essential support in developing resilience.
Listen to music regularely, to equilibrate our soul.
Sport, because it boosts hormones that reduce stress perception.
Meditation, because many studies show how regular meditation can change our brain in 8 weeks.
However, let's not forget that a little stress is inevitable and not dangerous at all, it depends on each of us to find the right level, but in the meanwhile, let's listen to some good music and laugh !