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Darth Vader’s dirty little secrets not-so-secret about stress

Posted By Carine Dieude, Biostress Imagery LLC, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April is Stress Awareness Month, and IT IS TIME for you to DEAL WITH your stress. Have you been seduced by the dark side of its force, pushing and pushing your way through deadlines and demands? Learn to recognize the prices you are paying for it and how to positively cope with stress, helping yourself live better.

Throughout April, I will share a daily dirty little secret about stress and a tip to banish it.

Day 1:

Your body responds to any dangerous situations, perceived by your brain, by increasing your strength and stamina, reaction time, focus, etc…preparing you to fight or to flee from danger. This stress response is contained within the amygdala, a small almond shaped portion of your primitive brain located at the base of your head. This ancestral trait was inherited from times where humans were consumed by survival.

When a threat is perceived, the sympathetic nervous system responds by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Your senses are heightened, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tighten. It’s like having your own Jedi, protecting you at all time. Pretty awesome! Well, not exactly…

Your personal Obi-Wan Kenobi turns out to be more of low-tech smoke detector than a Jedi Master! Let me explain. This warrior of yours can’t make the difference between a house fire and a burnt toast. It will respond the same way to an attack from a grizzly bear or from your ticked-out spouse, and so will you.

When you feel your stress and anxiety gearing up, before you find yourself in an intergalactic cubicles war, BREATHE! Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic system, reducing your blood flow and heart rate within a couple of minutes (ref Breathe out your stress).

May the Force be with you!

 

Author: Carine Dieudé, C.Ht., Biostress Imagery LLC

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Tags:  professional development  stress  stress management 

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