So I'm kinda stressed lately, mostly dueto the impending release of that book thing that I did.there. Children ooing So I thought, what better time to make a tutorial about stress than when you're stressed! We allexperience it to some degree or another and I wanted to talk a little bit aboutwhat it does to the brain and the body as well as share some of my favoritecoping strategies. When we think about stress, we usually think about thepsychological aspects of it. The feeling anxious, even afraid. But there are lotsof things happening in our bodies were stressed too. Usually the type of stressthat we're talking about when we say
things like quot;I'm so stressed out!quot; isactually a type of stress that scientists call 'positive stress'.eventhough it doesn't feel at all positive at the moment. Positive stress includes things likegiving a presentation to a large group of people, taking an exam, or getting ashot at the s office. Your brain may respond to these things asthreatening or scary but usually they're pretty short lived and you can recoverfrom them pretty quickly. Usually a feeling of stress is accompanied by somephysiological responses too, like sweaty
palms or a pounding heartbeat. These areall signals that your brain senses that something threatening or scary is ahead.When your brain senses threat your body responds by releasing a variety ofhormones. That anxious ball in the pit of your stomach, or you're poundingheartbeat, those are caused by the hormone adrenaline and adrenaline isessential to survival as it helps your body mobilize energy stores when yourbrain senses threat. Another hormone called cortisol is also released duringan experience of stress. Cortisol works to slow down some nonessential systems, like your digestion your inflammatory
response, or your immune system. This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but think about it: If you're running away from abear do you really wanna be thinking about how much you have to peeéé So inpopular media you might hear the term cortisol being bandied about as thenegative hormone. However it's important to note that despite what you mightoften hear about cortisol, that its actually essential for our survival andwe each have a daily cycle of cortisol production. So usually in the case ofpositive stress, once you've left the 's office, or finished yourpresentation, your body is able to
recover and your hormone levels return to normal. And even if your stress is more prolonged, chances are that you've probably developed some copingstrategies overtime to help you manage your stress. For example my five favoriteways of coping with stress are: 1) Exercise. Going running is cathartic for me, but ifyou're not a runner take a bike ride, go for a walk, just move your body! Exercisereleases endorphins which are often called the feelgood hormones and canhelp boost your mood. 2) Get out in nature. Plant something, touch a tree, lay in the grass, whatever! Being in nature has been shown to
be very therapeutic and helps peopleboost their mood and relieve stress. 3) Playing with my dog. So there's a whole bunch of emerging scientific research on the therapeutic and health benefits ofpetting your dog, playing with the dog, or even just gazing into each others eyeslovingly. Okay that's creepy. But seriously it works for me! After just 30seconds of petting my dogs I feel noticeably better. 4) Sleep. Seriously guys this is probably my biggest one. And yes I know it's hard to go to sleep when you'restressed out, but there's so much scientific research coming out about theimportance of sleep for things like your
How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime Nadine Burke Harris
In the mid'90s, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente discovered an exposurethat dramatically increased the risk for seven out of 10 of the leadingcauses of death in the United States. In high doses, it affectsbrain development, the immune system, hormonal systems, and even the way our DNAis read and transcribed. Folks who are exposed in very high doses
have triple the lifetime riskof heart disease and lung cancer and a 20year differencein life expectancy. And yet, s today are not trainedin routine screening or treatment. Now, the exposure I'm talking about isnot a pesticide or a packaging chemical. It's childhood trauma. Okay. What kind of traumaam I talking about hereé I'm not talking about failing a testor losing a basketball game. I am talking about threatsthat are so severe or pervasive
that they literally get under our skinand change our physiology: things like abuse or neglect, or growing up with a parentwho struggles with mental illness or substance dependence. Now, for a long time, I viewed these things in the wayI was trained to view them, either as a social problem refer to social services or as a mental health problem refer to mental health services.
And then something happenedto make me rethink my entire approach. When I finished my residency, I wanted to go someplacewhere I felt really needed, someplace where I could make a difference. So I came to work forCalifornia Pacific Medical Center, one of the best private sin Northern California, and together, we opened a in BayviewHunters Point, one of the poorest, most underservedneighborhoods in San Francisco.
Now, prior to that point, there had been onlyone pediatrician in all of Bayview to serve more than 10,000 children, so we hung a shingle, and we were ableto provide topquality care regardless of ability to pay. It was so cool. We targetedthe typical health disparities: access to care, immunization rates,asthma ization rates, and we hit all of our numbers.
We felt very proud of ourselves. But then I started noticinga disturbing trend. A lot of kids were beingreferred to me for ADHD, or Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder, but when I actually dida thorough history and physical, what I found was thatfor most of my patients, I couldn't make a diagnosis of ADHD. Most of the kids I was seeinghad experienced such severe trauma