Why your Perception about Stress Matters

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

3 minutes to read

Well, flying is often linked with stress. And it is true. Pilots very often have to cope with stress during flight.

And, yes there is a question:

Is this type of stress good or bad for your health? This post is an excellent way to rethink your mindset about stress if it is bad or good for you in a manner.

First of all, I guess all of you have heard the phrase ”good and bad stress”. What is really going on? Let’s have a closer look at some very interesting findings from scientists and researchers.

Stress flight and perception
Flying is challenging, always learn.

During stressful conditions, there is a powerful cocktail of hormones released in your brain. This cocktail contains cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) which both serve different roles.

Cortisol

Cortisol is responsible for turning sugar and fat into energy while improves the ability of both body and brain to use that energy. Also, cortisol suppresses some other functions such as immune function, bone formation, and digestion.

DHEA

DHEA is responsible for the growth of your brain. ”In the same way that testosterone helps your body grow stronger from physical exercise, DHEA helps your brain grow stronger from stressful experiences’‘, Ph.D. Kelly McGonigal writes in her book, The upside of Stress. It also counters some of the effects of cortisol. For example, DHEA speeds up wound repair and enhances immune function.

Now pay full attention in the next two paragraphs!

It is very useful to know that human brain needs both of these hormones, and none can tell that first one is a “good” and the other one is a “bad” stress hormone. What matters the most is the ratio between these two hormones who can influence the long-term consequences of stress, especially when that stress is chronic. Higher levels of cortisol can be associated with worse outcomes, such as impaired immune function and depression. In contrast, higher levels of DHEA have been linked to a reduced risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, neurodegeneration, and other diseases we typically think of as stress-related.

Growth index and Stress Response

The ratio of DHEA to cortisol is called the growth index of a stress response. ”A higher growth index—meaning more DHEA—helps people thrive under stress. It predicts academic pStresersistence and resilience in college students, as well as higher GPAs. In military survival training, a higher growth index is associated with greater focus, less dissociation, and superior problem-solving skills, as well as fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms growth index even predicts resilience in extreme circumstances, such as recovering from child abuse”, Kelly McGonigal points out.

Stress and Perception

Can your perception about stress have an effect on growth index?  

Yes! And let me show you what researchers have found! They showed a three-minute video on two groups of people about stress. In the first group the video was about how stress can enhance performance and in the second group, the video was about how stress can be debilitating. After the video, on both groups, cortisol levels were the same,  but in the first group, the DHEA levels were higher than the second group who had watched the video of how can stress be debilitating.

The positive perception of stress can have a beneficial effect on your growth index.

In conclusion, why might this be helpful for you? Viewing stress as something helpful, an enhancer of your performance, could have a very different impact on your biology. When you concentrate on executing a good approach to land, up to one level, stress is your ally. Your perception about this should be that this type of stress is beneficial. Know your procedures and embrace stress as a good factor so it can boost your creativity, focus, and performance. Maintain a good Growth Index. Just keep up the good work and spread the greatness of your job!

Reference ”The upside of stress”, Kelly McGonigal {2015}
Nicholas Andreou CEO Enjoy Flying
Nicholas Andreou, Founder Enjoy Flying Private pilot

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail