Melinda is waiting for a visit from her brother flying in from New York.
She knows her brother has a history of being inattentive to her scheduling. This year her brother diagnosed with cancer for which he receives timely. Therefore, Melinda was expecting him to call. However, by the fourth day of his arrival to stay with others he is still had not contacted Melinda. This made her realizes that he had not changed. Melinda was getting very annoyed and dismayed at his not contacting her. Unfortunately, her brother met with an accident the next day and by the time Melinda contacted her brother, he was treating in ETU.
She noticed on her own how this incident triggers severe stress in a loop of painful feelings. She felt that she had the power to call him earlier. This incident causes severe stress in Melinda’s mind which triggers burnout of emotions and energy. There are ways to manage stress.
This post describes the scientific foundation of stress and the impact of stress on brain and health conditions.
What is Stress?
Stress stimulates and triggers burnouts in your body, emotions.
Your Brain on Stress?
Stress has direct impacts on your brain and body. This is a classic concept of fight or flight response. However, it is also important to understand that this is only a small part of the story.
According to science, your brain is organized in a specific way to keep you safe. This is hardwired to be hyperfocused on survival at all costs.
So, let’s start first try to understand how the brain is organized dealing with stress. This will assist us to better understand what happens when that gap between demand and capacity gets too large and the pressure of stress becomes problematic.
The first rule of the brain is that we are hardwired for safety at all costs.
Humans have five times more fear-based circuits in the brain than reward circuits. This means that the brain pays about 80% more attention to negative cues in the external environment than those that are positive.
This extra sensitivity creates become extra sensitive to stress and this process stimulation feels overwhelming.
Experiences and Influences that shape our mental maps and mindsets
Experience has a direct impact to influence our mind maps that can create a permanent mindset about stress and happiness. Form an ancient time our mind is evolved around the primary objective of survival. Anything that poses a potential threat gets a priority position when it comes to the brain’s focus of attention. So, again, brain rule number one is that survival is always our top priority.
Stop Treating Stress as Good or Bad.
Stress is simply a gap that exists between demand and capacity. This type of stress is what we would call the tame or tolerable bridge the gap. When we have the resources to cope and we take some sort of action, stress is temporary and can be helpful.
We can think of this as acute stress that is resolved within a short period. The problems start to occur when we either don’t believe we have what we need to cope so we just push it down and hope it goes away, or the problem continues unresolved for too long and becomes chronic or long-term in nature.
Stress is Addictive
Have you ever felt someone else’s stress when they walk in the room? How about picking up stress through an email or a text message? I joke about the fact that stress is way more contagious than the flu, but it’s not that funny.
We spread stress to each other all the time and we pick it up too, which makes it feel even more chronic, overwhelming, and out of control. One last issue I want to bring up about stress is it’s super addictive too.
I know that may sound crazy, but stress acts on the same reward pathways in the brain as other addictive substances. Think about it, your brain wants to remember things that are stressful so that you’ll avoid them in the future.
The Stress Mastery
the simple stress mastery formula in assessing, appreciate, and adjust.
Moving through these steps may feel a bit forced at first, or you may have to write them down and rehearse them in your mind for a little while until you become a master of stress.
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