Stress is literally the spice of life. It has been said If you don’t experience stress you’re not alive. Stressors are everywhere. They come at you from the environment you live, work and play in, from other people and mostly, from inside your own mind. Stress is defined as our reactions to change. Like everything else, you can learn how to master your stress to live a more peaceful, productive and happy life. Mismatched: Your Brain Under Stress will tell you how.
The number of people feeling miserable has increased with increasing political and economic uncertainty, and the fear of new viral diseases. Global trends consistently show an increase in the number of people reporting negative emotions. Our minds and bodies are well adapted to short-term intense stress – the kind of stress that was in our environment for more than 200,000 years, and gave us a fighting chance when we were being chased by a saber toothed tiger. Stress turns on our fight or flight response to keep us safe from imminent threats. However rapid technological growth and other factors of modern life have changed our world beyond recognition without giving us an outlet to vent our stress. You can’t just fight the guy in the next cubicle because he is being a jerk. And so stress builds up to where it becomes chronic, and the primary forerunner of psychological disorders. Chronic stress is worse than ever. And chronic stress can destroy us.
Our brains can evolve, but not as fast as our world is changing. This creates a mismatch with our environment. To combat this we need to know how our brains can get hijacked, what tools we can use to become better aligned with the way stress affects our body and mind, and an understanding of how to recognize and move beyond kneejerk reactions to achieve our full potential.
EP 1: Stress and Health
Stress has always been a part of life. But is it getting worse? Are we more stressed today than before? Why are we mismatched?
EP 2: Mind/Body Connection
Our mind controls our physical health. Monks in the Himalayan mountains can use their mind to control their body temperature such that they are able to dry soaking wet sheets on their backs in a freezing cold room.
EP 3: Mind/Body Connection II
We are all different, what one person finds stressful, another person finds exhilarating. When we do find something stressful, what are the cascade of events that can ultimately destroy our health? This process starts in the brain with our perception of stress.
EP 4: Resilience for First Responders
What are the unique stressors experienced by police officers and other first responders? The tools and techniques discussed here can also apply to all of us.
EP 5: Stress is a Funny Thing
Humor is one of the best ways to combat stress.
EP 6: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind
Focus is great, and necessary, but it is during unfocused times that eureka moments occur.