Stress is a healthy part of life and can be very useful...in very small doses!
When we were still cave-men and -women, a loooooong time ago, we needed the stress hormones when we were in danger.
Imagine a huge Woolly Mammoth thundering towards you... Well, you most probably want to get out as quickly as you can.
Luckily our bodies are designed in a way, so that in case of a stressful situation (such as being chased by a Woolley Mammoth, or the scary dog from next door) we can get out as fast as we can.
Our body shuts down all the functions that we normally need to grow and thrive, and the parts of our body that we need for escape is being extra activated.
Our eyes are extra wide, to let in more light so we can see better.
Our muscles are more tense, so you are ready to run....or fight ...ideally not a Mammoth, obviously!
Our blood pressure increases and our hearts increase their heart-rate, so it can pump more blood to your legs, so you can run at optimum speed.
The digestive system slows down, because the focus is on escaping, not digesting the trifle you had for pudding...that can wait!
Cortisol is a stress-hormone that depresses the immune system and reduces sensitivity to pain. It gives energy to the muscles and it improves your memory.
As you can see, we have an amazing system in our bodies to deal with stress, but....we don't live in the Stone Age anymore and we are quite safe of Mammoths... yet....we experience stress more than ever in history!
Stress should only be experienced for a short amount of time. In the Stone Age it meant that once the Mammoth had passed, you would take a breath and a rest, and let your body recover. So that the immune system and digestive system can work again and your body can grow and thrive as it should.
This is the natural flow.
Unfortunately, in modern times, stress is something that can be experienced for long periods on end.
Stressful times at school, maybe at home, maybe with friends, maybe because of social media...
A lot of adults have stress in their jobs or about money...or both!
And too much stress can lead to all sorts of physical problems, including heart disease, which isn't strange when you think about it: in a stress situation the heart-rate goes up. But the heart needs a rest too!
Luckily there are ways to reduce stress, which you will find on the next page! (click link!)
But to be aware of how stress feels in your body is the first important step!
So let's explore...and be stress-free! Well, until that Mammoth, obviously!
Let's also take a look at our brains and in particular the brainwaves.