Yesterday, alongside all my troubles being far away, I went to visit Body Worlds in London. It's that exhibition of peoples bodies and it was ace. I took my 10 year old and 7 year old. We saw things like this (note no photography is allowed hence the poor quality 'sneaky' pic'.
As well as having lots of 'body' things, it had lots of 'brain' things too. I realise of course that your brain is part of your body but I think we very easily forget and seperate the two and don't understand or appreciate the impact the brain can have on the body. For example, I was told recently not to be anxious about something, I wish my brain could have believed that and my body could have agreed. Instead a week of sleepless nights, constant fretting and worry and all the other associated symptoms ensued.
Anyway, the brain stuff and some more shaky pictures....
Stress and Strain are 2 things I learnt about in my Engineering degree.
Stress = Force / Area
The effect of that Force or pressure on an object (or a person) can be the strain it is under which is Extension / Original Length.
So (too much) Stress can cause (too much) Strain, and (too much) Strain can cause something to break. I think we understand this well if we strain a muscle or strain our back, but do we think about the strain on our brain?
If we try and lift too heavy a weight we accept and understand if something goes twang, if we put our back out and have to lay up for 6 weeks.
if we try and cope with too much force on the mind we're not so good at this.
First we need to better understand the Stress and Strain we (and the people we work with, our family, friends) are under. And then help remove some of the stress (less force (pressure) or more area (people)) and help them cope with the strain of modern life (the ability to flex, to bend, to stretch).
Some of the common symptoms that I can exhibit in times of high stress are:
- Muddled thinking
- Hasty decisions
I've noticed myself doing that a few times recently. Particularly the muddled thinking and hasty decisions.
I know it's 'not me' and I know I'm 'not thinking straight' and I also know that the cause is stress and the cause of stress is from many different things. The picture below is from the MIND website about causes of stress, I annotated it 'for fun' to highlight what I have going on at the moment.
People rarely feel or behave a certain way because they 'choose' to. It's a combination of a whole host of different factors that impact us all.
I wish my brain was 'normal'. I wish I didn't sometimes exhibit the symptoms of being stressed, anxious and depressed.
But I do, and I am and it's hard.
I just wish people understood and I didn't feel different. And that's why I do this.
Mr Paul Wyse