How Stress Works
To combat stress we must first have an idea of how it works. We have all heard of the ’fight or flight’ reaction. This is inbuilt in our DNA and when we face a stressful situation or challenge our first instinct is flight or fight.
This flight or fight reaction is caused by raised levels of ‘cortisol’. Once the stress passes the ‘cortisol’ levels quickly return to normal. This is true for all mammals.
However, in humans, we have become less able to rebalance our cortisol levels as our world constantly challenges and pressurises us. All too often we allow stress to grow and grow until it takes hold and controls us.
Recognise the Signs of Stress
The build up of stress can affect both your physical and mental health. Key indicators of stress build up include:
- Mild panic attacks
- Broken sleep which leads to exhaustion
- Heart palpitations
- Outbreaks of eczema, psoriasis and acne
- Irritability/short fuse
- Appetite changes
- Muscle pain and tightness
- Shortness of breath
Know the signs of stress and manage it to avoid stress building up. Persistent high levels of stress, can impair memory absorption and recall, learning focus and decision making. A stressed body and mind is unable to operate at peak performance. For extreme cases, seek medical advice.
We need to encourage our children to let stress go in the lead up to exams.