Purpose of the Brain:
Our body is an amazing and very fine piece of machinery. Nature has given us everything we need in order to live – it has given us the strength of the instinct to survive and to adapt, and it has given us consciousness. The headmaster (no pun intended) of our body is our brain – it is the tool with which we command our bodies to walk, to talk, to avoid physical harm when in a subconscious state, like dreaming.
The Survival Mode:
The unequivocal purpose of our brain’s programming is to “survive”. On encountering potentially dangerous situations, our brain goes into “hyper” mode, thrusting our body into survival mode. Mortality or death is what the brain wants to avoid, as if selfishly trying to save itself. We have mastered and evolved these survival instincts to remain at the top of the food chain, keeping predators and dangers at bay.
We live in a different type of communion now and we are not primitive anymore. Our modern society lacks the physical large predators-like the dinosaurs, but our primitive instincts have still survived. Our brain still responds to stress, not knowing to differentiate external fatal stress stimuli from internal stress caused by our anxieties and worries. It doesn’t hold back, there is no selective defense, it’s all out.
Physiological Impacts of Stress:
The brain on encountering stress, unleashes everything it can to save the body, the organs. Some of these “involuntary” actions result in blood clotting to prevent the body from bleeding to death in case of an injury; slows down metabolism and other “recharging” activities to save vital energy to last the battle. It’s like ending “unimportant” memory intensive processes on your computer to save it from crashing.
Imagine sending a “false” fatal cry (considering your thoughts alone cannot kill you, your actions will) to the brain and sending it in fire fighting mode, at regular intervals. All those emergency survival measures will manifest in implausible disorders like weight gain, constipation, stomachache and so on, make your immune system vulnerable, and create a spiral which will only feed stress.
Manage Stress to LIVE Life:
So if the dinosaurs are long gone and the dangerous one are, either deep in the wild or safely behind caged parks, why don’t we stop pressing the panic button time and again. Evolution cannot be reversed so soon so the brain will do the emergency drill every-time but what we can do is to slow down and understand how to handle stress without it getting the better of you.
Deep down, we all know that the importance that we give to stress and its various manifestations isn’t worth harming the beautiful life that we have been blessed with.