Let's talk about stress. This is going to be a three-part series. Today, we'll be starting at the very beginning. Who invented stress? What goes on in your brain when you feel stressed? Keep reading or watch the video below for more...
Stress has only been defined since 1936. The term "stress" has been coined by Hans Selye, a physicist, in 1936. It was described it as being the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change. For example, if you bend a piece of metal until it snaps, the breakage occurs because of the force or the stress that is exerted on it. Let's remember here that it came from physics. When you apply pressure (a change), stress happens. That's kind of what happens for us. Change is present all the time, anywhere, and it creates that pressure on us until we snap.
Over the next few weeks, we will be figuring out if stress could potentially be a positive thing, if it could actually bring us the energy that we need in order to break free. But for now, let's talk about pressure. Let's talk about change. Nowadays, we are under a lot of pressure. Either you're facing big changes in your life or at work, you're worried about your children, your spouse, your friends, your work, the business that you're trying to run... There's always something to worry about.
Stress happens when we feel like we don't have control, when we have too many responsibilities and we become overwhelmed. There's also a different kind of stress, which is the reverse. If you don't have enough work or enough activities or enough change in your life, that can also cause stress, interesting isn’t it? And of course, there's the stress that is caused by traumatic experiences, discrimination, hate, abuse...
Stress causes a neural circuit imbalance, so while you are busy stressing, you have a harder time making decisions. That's why you may feel stuck and unable to decide. It also causes anxiety. As your stress levels grow, your mood is impacted, and this imbalance in your brain may eventually attack your body. It attacks your immune system, it attacks your metabolism, so we can also get sick from stress.
It's like you have an army of little soldiers in your body. If you experience something stressful, the amygdala, the little part of your brain that houses your survival instinct and that makes sure that you are safe all the time, takes over. And instead of storing memories and performing higher tasks, like thinking or being able to make decisions, now, all these soldiers are busy fighting the stress.
That's how stress keeps us stuck. Now, it's also connected to serotonin levels. Stress really depletes your serotonin levels, especially chronic stress and trauma. If you are in a serotonin deficiency, that could potentially cause depression in the long run.
There are a few little things that I want to bring also into today's blog. Now that you know where stress is from and what it does to your body, do you know about all the little things that you can do for stress, like squeezing something, crying, or yelling? Why do we yell? Why do we cry and why is squeezing something going to help our stress? Well, it's all related to what I just said about serotonin. When you cry, it releases serotonin. When you yell, it releases serotonin. When you squeeze something, it releases serotonin. Stress depletes your capacity to produce serotonin in your bloodstream. But if you squeeze something, if you cry or if you yell, very often, it will help.
Next week in part number 2, we'll go over five strategies you can use in order to reduce stress. Stay tuned!
SOMETIMES, WE NEED A LITTLE PUSH.
Now that you know what happens in your brain when you're stressed, you may need a little help to get unstuck. Book your FREE Virtual Coffee with me and let's see how we can work together to unlock your full potential!
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
The Chicken or the Egg?
2 Strategies to Take Better Care of Your Health
S.P.R.I.N.G. Cleaning: 6 Keys to Thrive Through Change