As part of Stress Awareness Month, we are going to be sharing a series of short weekly blogs looking deeper into something called ‘Sympathetic Dominance’. We hope you’ll find these interesting and informative – and please feel free to share them with your friends and family as well!
What is ‘Sympathetic Dominance’?
Picture your caveman (or woman) self: Out on the hunt – preparing to spear yourself a juicy antelope or some other delicacy – and then suddenly, out of the bushes in front of you, jumps a giant tiger!
What happens to your body at this point?
Your mouth goes dry, your heart rate hits the roof and you notice you’re breathing heavily… You are poised, ready to run away – VERY FAST! (You may even wet your pants!)
Less noticeable to yourself, but just as significantly, your pupils have dilated; your body has diverted as much blood as it can to your skeletal system to fuel your ‘fight or flight’; adrenaline is released; and your reproductive organs and hormone production are inhibited. (Therefore, no sex when you’re about to be eaten by a tiger – sorry!)
Now all of this is extremely useful when you’re facing an angry tiger… You are perfectly positioned to run or fight; are probably stronger than usual; your vision is more acute; and your brain is alert… In fact, all your body’s resources are focused on the impending danger – and anything that is not essential is inhibited. As a result of this, you are much more likely to survive this danger and enjoy the rest of your life!
Next week, we’ll look into how modern life has led to this extremely well-designed system actually having a negative impact on our bodies and wellbeing; we’re looking forward to sharing it with you!