Stress is our friend

File:Rotating brain colored.gif

Human brain (hypothalamus=red, amygdala=green, hippocampus/fornix=blue, pons=gold, pituitary gland=pink)
Stress is a common feature of modern life; and each of us has learnt, to handle it in our own way. Some of us shy away from any confrontations, while others become aggressive and try to dominate the situation. There is no right or wrong way to handle stress; as each of us comes with our own past baggage and experience, and hence has developed our own coping methodology, to face stressful situations. Michelangelo hanging upside down from the Sistine Chapel ceiling created his amazing art when stressed, and Henry Ford developed the assembly line to cope with his dilemma.
Innovation, imagination and creativity are the best outlets for stress; and wherever possible we should try to channel the mind in this direction, when faced with stressful situations. One has first to still the mind; to avoid the fight or flee response that our lizard brain (Amygdala) creates, as we cannot activate our human brain power (Hypothalamus), if we are too busy surviving. In some situations preservation may be the only way out, but in others one must seek to overcome animal instinct, by man-made choice. Stress is not always bad and we need some stress to help us develop, as human beings or as a species.
Listening to various motivational speakers; I often hear them say that we need to add stress to ourselves, and disrupt the equilibrium of our homeostasis, to achieve what we want. We need to get out of our cocoon of comfort and safety to make things happen. The whole universe has infinite energy, and we need to tap into it, to make any meaningful change. Even Buddha on attaining Nirvana; still went out to communicate and set up a new social order, to help change the world. I encourage each one of us to willfully make the choice of stress; as it will help release the Serotonin hormone, which often leads to anxiety, fear, and depression, and then use the power of your brain to come up with better coping mechanisms. All major developments in human history or individual endeavor have come about, by adapting to better handling stress. Even Darwin pointed out that the race is not won by the strongest, but by the most adaptive in evolution. To progress we need stress; and the will to overcome any environmental obstacles, and only then will we find a solution, that will lead to a higher homeostasis. Life and evolution demand we learn to rise above our daily worries; and answer to a higher calling, which this gift of life on earth, has provided to us.

11 thoughts on “Stress is our friend

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