Driving on, you are stuck in traffic, stop-and-go, you are extremely anxious. Suddenly someone changes lanes and inserts in front of you. You are busy stepping on the brakes, but the car behind you honks the horn fiercely. You burst into a cold sweat, your heart beats faster, you are furious, you want to swear, but you are helpless and depressed, so you have to watch the time pass one by one.
In the gym, the 30-minute run has just ended. When you get off the treadmill, you sweat profusely, are out of breath, your heart is pounding, but you are relieved and happy.
Facing different pressures, you have similar reactions (shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, etc.), but you have different feelings. The former makes you depressed while the latter makes you happy. Why?
Stress-Natural Response to Challenges
Stress is a natural response of human beings to challenges. In ancient times, human beings faced mostly challenges from the natural environment.
1. Stress Response of Ancient Humans [Running]
Facing the threat of wild animals or similar competitors, The natural reaction of human beings is to secrete adrenaline, which can quickly make a Fight or Flight response. Adrenaline can quickly accelerate the heartbeat, raise blood pressure, accelerate respiration and hyperemia of muscles. Adrenaline can quickly adjust the cardiovascular system and deliver more blood from internal organs to musculoskeletal system, thus facilitating fighting or escape.
Long-term chronic stress can also lead to an increase in stress cortisol. Unlike epinephrine, cortisol can cause muscle decomposition and fat storage, thus saving energy and facilitating long-term survival.
Therefore, from the perspective of evolution, good stress response is a survival advantage.
2. Stress Response of Modern People [Static]
Modern people seldom face natural dangers, but the physiological mechanism of this stress response still exists. Of course, modern people seldom face natural threats such as famine or wild animals, and are replaced by pressures in their work and life.
Modern people’s pace of life is getting faster and faster, work indicators are getting higher and higher, social parties are getting more and more, free time is getting less and less, endless reports are written, endless phone calls are returned… Faced with various pressures, the natural reaction of the human body, just like in ancient times, is still secreting epinephrine and cortisol.
Proper stress makes your heart beat faster and your energy concentrate. I believe many people have experienced the high efficiency brought by Deadline.
However, in the face of modern stress, we still have high blood pressure, faster heartbeat and other reactions, but we seldom fight or rush for survival as in ancient times. In the face of stress, we can’t run, move or vent most of the time, resulting in mental and psychological depression.
Many drawbacks of long-term pressure
As mentioned above, stress response to pressure has certain benefits, but long-term pressure brings many disadvantages. I believe everyone will have certain experience more or less. Therefore, it is needless to say that the brief summary is as follows:
1. Stress Causes Hypertension
This was originally a reaction conducive to fighting or escaping, but continuous pressure makes blood vessels like collapsed erasers, increasing the burden on the heart and leading to potentially fatal cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
2. Stress Causes Obesity and Diabetes
In the face of pressure, the human body’s instinctive response is to eat, and especially sweet food.
I believe people who stay up late to work have more experience of this. Elevated blood sugar helps to provide energy, which is originally conducive to fighting or escaping. Unfortunately, under modern pressure, we seldom have the opportunity to consume excess sugar through exercise.
In addition, under chronic stress, cortisol increases, leading to muscle decomposition and fat storage, so obesity and diabetes come.
Recent statistics show that one in ten Chinese is diabetic, and more than half of adults are prediabetic. This figure is shocking!
3. Stress destroys social relations
Being in a bad mood under pressure leads to tension with colleagues or family members. Most of the time, disputes with others are actually an emotional vent due to one’s bad mood.
4. Stress Causes Insomnia
Under stress, the human body’s instinct is to fight or run away. Therefore, insomnia is inevitable again. Unfortunately, insomnia brings more pressure, thus creating a vicious circle.
5. Stress Causes Loss
Under stress, the human body is controlled by stress hormones in the body. Your mind is constantly searching for signals like radar, and you always feel that there is something what that has not been finished. Many people will feel that they have lost control of themselves, so they are depressed and lost.
Stress Accumulation, how Diverts Depressed Energy?
Having said so much about the disadvantages of pressure, should we relieve the pressure how? In fact, it is very simple, that is, to conform to the physiological reaction of the human body to the pressure, and to channel out the accumulated repressed energy through exercise!
Why is exercise the best way to relieve stress? Exercise can promote the brain to secrete endorphins. Endorphins are natural opium-like neurotransmitters, so they are called natural analgesics, which can bring euphoria and help you relieve stress.
Fighting or running is an instinctive reaction under stress. Complying with the action of stress hormones in the body, exercise helps release energy and relieve pressure when the heart beats faster, muscles are congested and blood pressure rises.
Exercise gives your brain something to focus on and gives you the opportunity to talk to yourself without worrying about your thoughts.
The control of your body during exercise will restore your sense of control over yourself. Overcoming sports challenges helps you improve your confidence.
The body fatigue and relaxation brought about by exercise can make you sleep more soundly and eat more nutritionally, thus getting out of the vicious circle of pressure leading to greater pressure.
People who have experienced driving probably know that long-term driving in the city, stop-and-go, is not only bad for the car, but also easy to be nervous. To go to the empty high-speed in the suburbs, it is not only good for the car, but also refreshing. Driving is so, so is life.
In the face of pressure, our instinct is either to fight or to run away, so we might as well use sports to relieve it.