Sunday, February 05, 2006

Adrenaline and Stress

Brandy asked a question on the last post about why she couldn't sleep the night before group and why she was exhausted afterward. It seems to happen before participating in activities that cause her stress. That leads me to believe that the culprit of these reactions all boils down to one word - adrenaline. Also referred to as epinephrine, this hormone occurs naturally in the body and plays a vital role in the fight or flight responses in our body. Fight or flight happens as a response to threatening or exciting conditions. As well as fear, adrenaline can also be increased by anger. This hormone plays an important role in short-term stress reaction. Everyone has heard stories about mothers who miraculously lifts cars off of their children after accidents. This is adrenaline. Brandy sees the group as a frightening event because of her shyness. The night before the event, her subconscious is already, for lack of a better term, battening down the hatches in order to prepare her for group the next day. Her body is going into fight or flight mode, sort of a pre-panic attack syndrome. This is actually a good thing as it is adrenaline which helps her to attend these functions. But the lack of sleep the night before can be detrimental to the body and can also adveresly affect her bodies ability to cope with the stress. We can't turn off the sub-conscious. It controls us, not the other way around. What we can do is use mechanisms to help us control our responses to our sub-conscious actions. What I would suggest for you Brandy, is to lay off the caffeine the day before and day of the event. Caffeine increases the levels of adrenaline. Also, try a warm bath with lavender at bedtime the night before group. See if you can get DH to give you a soothing, relaxing massage. Take melantonin or some other over the counter sleep aid, nothing strong, just something to help your body relax. You may also want to look into meditation or relaxation tapes to listen to before you retire for the night. There are many things you can do to help your body relax now that you know what is causing the disturbance.

Exhausted afterward? Of course you are, your body has been in the fight/flight mode, adrenaline levels have gone skyward. You can think of it as stress "attacking" your body and you using adrenaline to fight it off. It is known that the "let-down" after increases in adrenaline can cause exhaustion. And that's just it - your body is "letting down" after high stress levels. Maybe by getting a little more sleep the night before will help with this. Otherwise - you'll just have to arrange time to take a nap - I know that's hard with children, but maybe something can be worked out. Just a couple of hours to allow your body time to "re-set" its buttons. If anyone else has any ideas, please let us know.

Brandy - I'll answer your other question - the major difference between pathological shyness and social phobia - tomorrow.


Blogger Brandy said...

Eve, thanks so much for addressing my question. But, if you think I can lay off the caffiene, your crazy! An over the counter, gentle sleep aid sounds like the best option. I already listen to tranquil music as I'm going to sleep. Can't take a bath, between kids and the fact that the tub is SMALL(and kinda high?) it's just not possible. Might mention the massage to DH, but he doesn't understand HOW badly I feel about all this. I'm going to see if I can get him to read this. Tanks again! B.

February 05, 2006 1:02 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Thanks, not tanks! Geez.

February 05, 2006 1:03 PM  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

It's okay to type a mistake Brandy. Deep breaths. I said I didn't think the bath would be an option, but just mentioned it as an example of a relaxation thingy. How about the day before group you CUT DOWN on the caffeine and don't drink any 2 - 3 hours before bedtime? I know - I'm a caffeine freak too.

February 05, 2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

Howdy Hey There, Eve!

Helpful post!
I used to suffer from shyness. In fact, in large groups, I'm the wallflower. I can talk a storm up on the phone or here, in blogland, but put me in a group, and I become the listener. The Quiet One.
Smile, nod, be nice and quickly ask the hostess if I can do anything to help. I feel better helping out. Doing something, ANYTHING except looking like a 5th leg.
Joining Jafra 3 years ago was a humongous step for me. I had a really supportive manager and she never lost a opportunity to shove a microphone in my hand. Turns out I'm a closet ham. Once I have a microphone, a whole different personality comes out. You can't shut me up! Did that on Karaoke (sp) night at my church 2 years ago. Being involved in my church and being president of its women's club (I just accepted 4th term) really has made a difference too. Even the older ladies who have known me since the beginning have seen the growth in me.
I saw in your profile, Eve, that you are 45. Cool!!!! I'm 42. So nice to meet someone who's close in age.
And I also would like to be a writer. Double cool.

Right now, I've been helping another aspiring writer by critiquing her story. So far I've done 7 chapters for her. I'm not professional by any stretch of a vivid imagination. I'm reading it from a readers perspective and I ask a lot of questions. I guess I'm helping her write her story in such a way as to not lose future readers. She's world building, which is incredibly challenging.. It's fun think I'm on the ground floor of someone's future success.
Thanks for visiting my blog!!
It was nice to "read" you there.

February 05, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

Michele - since you're an aspiring writer, you really need to visit my other blog. I thought that was the URL that I left on your site.

Sometimes I do feel a bit like the old lady in the groups - but then, I really don't know how old some of these people are.

I'm glad you were able to find a way around your shyness.

February 05, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

You did leave the URL on my blog. But I was looking for the kind of "blog comment area" that I'm used to.
I did see the other site. I tried to go to the "guestbook" but it took forever to load, my pop up blocker was going nuts and I had another ezine I was downloading at the same time.
I wasn't sure where to go. It's like visiting someone's home for the first time and not knowing which direction the party is at, ya know?
I'll try it again.

February 05, 2006 5:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home