Stress is a common, adaptive response to threat. It indicates the presence of danger, peril or risk and prepares us to take protective or proactive actions.
Research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol reduces a person’s ability to retrieve information and memory. Even worse, this same stress hormone is linked to progressive shrinking of the hippocampus – an important memory center in the temporal region. High levels of stress also promote depression, which severely impairs memory and increases the risk for dementia.
Note the following facts about STRESS
– Stress hinders performance of difficult tasks or at least retard the progress.
– Moderate stress improves performance and motivation on less difficult assignment.
– In family relationship, stress leads to strained relationship, less cooperation and more hostility.
– Stress must be properly managed to prevent physical and mental illness. It is a well
established fact that stress causes cardio vascular disorder.
– Continued exposure to chronic stress can culminate in serious heart disease and psychological illness.
How to reduce stress:
- Try relaxation exercises. Sit quietly and breathe deeply and slowly. Relax each part of your body, starting with the top of your head and finishing with your toes.
- Wear comfortable clothes like cargo elastic waist pants, shirts or shorts.
- Look for humor in tense situations and talk about your feelings with family members, friends or a therapist, if necessary.
- Try reducing stress and anxiety with fresh, natural scents. In general they induce a calming state. In one recent study, volunteers became extremely anxious when they were confined in coffin-like tubes, but then calmed down when the tubes were infused with the smells of green apple and cucumber. These odors seem to have an impact on the limbic systems, the emotional center of the brain.
- Take 10 long deep breaths. Your belly should expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale.
- Massage your eyes by placing your palms over them and apply gentle pressure while spiraling your palms. Try the same technique for your ears. Periodically, try to block out all sight and sound for just a second or two. Researchers report that this can be a refreshing experience from a psychological standpoint.
- Experiment with aroma therapy. A drop of citrus essential oil like lemon-lime or orange is refreshing for your office or home and is not overbearing.