What happens in our body when we reach our limits?
“Only this one project!”
“Until the end of the year, then it will get better!”
Such perseverance slogans are widespread, but in daylight they are already an indication of chronic stress. Long-term stress does not pass us by without a trace.
Here is a brief look at the effects of chronic stress:
Stress (eu- Greek: good) is perceived as activating and not stressful. You will experience it when you are enthusiastic about it and devote your full attention to an activity! You are in the FLOW.
Your body now provides you with energy in the form of glucose through the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, you are active and efficient through the release of specific hormones and neurotransmitters and your reward system ensures a good mood with a good portion of endorphins!
Distress (Dis- Greek: bad): is however perceived as stressful with its psychological and physical symptoms.
Our stress processing system does not differ in developmental physiology from that of a “hunter-gatherer” – it has been tried and tested over thousands of years and enables us to assess the “danger potential” of a situation in fractions of a second. In case of danger, the body is enabled to avert danger by activating the sympathetic nervous system as well as the physical stress reaction by fighting or fleeing.
All processes necessary for this (e.g.: increase in blood pressure, pulse, glucose release in the liver, …) are accelerated, and others (e.g. digestion) are throttled.
The system is perfectly designed to make the body more efficient in crisis situations. – Perfect for a Stone Age hunter who reduces the body’s stress reaction and stress hormones through physical activity.
After averted danger the parasympathetic nervous system sucks again for relaxation and regeneration.
Less perfect for a 10 hour day in the office, with multiple / permanent activation of the stress system. – Without recovery phases and relaxation, the partner of the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system (vagus), cannot fulfil its tasks such as regeneration, recovery and sleep.
The stress system is permanently activated. Affected persons remain under tension, and their own performance reserves are overexploited, which can eventually lead to exhaustion, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and panic disorders and burnout.
The first step must therefore be to interrupt the permanent activation of the stress system and to learn measures that promote regeneration. It is quite different from person to person which method is the most suitable.
An HRV lifefire measurement, for example, can provide individual answers to questions about regeneration and performance and burnout risk.
I wish you all the best!