She was a worrier, a description she used on herself. “I worry about everything and sometimes I worry that I have nothing to worry about.” This worry defines her, starting from the moment she wakes up, to the moment she falls asleep, she lives exclusively in the future. Will I wake up on time, Will I finish breakfast on time, will I have enough time to workout, how will the meeting go, what do I wear in evening and the list goes on, using all her available time planning and preparing for the future. Nothing wrong in being extra careful she says!
He was easily provoked and often got touchy for trivial things, “people have to be careful around me”, I have quite the temper. He is the one you see screaming at other drivers from inside the car, the kind of guy who could throw a file across the room, because he was in a grumpy mood. Raghav accepted this as part of his personality and wanted those around him to accept him as such. He defined himself as an “emotional” person. Nothing wrong with being emotional he says !
All of us know/are people who fit into the above two categories. There are angry worriers, sad worriers and scared worriers. Happy Worriers are pretty rare. Lets take a deeper look into what happens in the body when one gets worked up/angry/agitated/anxious and try to understand how dangerous this can be.
- The Stimulus can be anything from an imagined tiger to an exam the next day. The subjective importance to every stimulus varies among different people and derives greatly from one’s interpretation and memory of events in the past. Stimuli are perceived subjectively, what i find stressful, may not be stressful to others.
- The Brain – The amygdala is a small almond shaped structure in the brain which does a bulk of the emotional processing. The amygdala is connected to the thalamus and hypothalamus (the body’s control center) via the papez circuit. In reaction to the stimulus, the hypothalamus then communicates to the pituitary gland which releases hormones which communicate with peripheral glands. When we are stressed, the pituitary gland commands the adrenal gland to take some corrective measures.
- The Adrenal glands are a small pair of glands that reside on top of our kidneys. When stressed, these glands, on command from the pituitary secrete
Cortisol – The wonder hormone which has a role to play in everything ranging from blood pressure to wound healing.
Adrenaline and Nor adrenaline – The most popular neurotransmitters, responsible for prepping our body to deal with threats, physical or mental. This is what makes our heart race, out skin sweat and our muscles twitchy ready for action. Every time one gets angry, or worries a lot, there is a spike in adrenaline/nor adrenaline levels.
When you are angry, worried, agitated or anxious more often than not, there is often an excess of adrenaline and cortisol.
This picture represents the symptoms of an increased cortisol level. Normalizing adrenaline and cortisol levels could potentially help in managing a wide variety of debilitating illnesses, ranging from diabetes to depression.
Continue on to page 2, for simple tips to reset your adrenal balance.