About Stress and De-stressing

We all know stress is unhealthy, but how do you deal with it? In a way that works quickly and effectively? That question occupied Marina Riemslagh for years: "Stress manifests itself immediately in the brain, hence the importance of tackling it at that level. Stress in the brain causes all kinds of symptoms: physical complaints and difficulties in your relationships".

What happens in the brain during stress? One hemisphere becomes overactive, the other one too little active. If our rational side is overactive, we no longer feel what we say and do and what happens to others. We are then over-rational and appear chilly. If our emotional side is overactive, we can no longer concentrate and have difficulty remembering things. We are then hypersensitive and irritated.

During stress, fewer connections are made between the different parts of the brain. Because of this our brains work less well and we show stress reactions, which in psychology are called 'fighting', 'fleeing' or 'freezing'.

But what is stress anyway? When we think of stress we usually think of stress at work, but it turns out to be more than that. "Stress is any form of tension or anxiety. Are you worried about your partner, children, parents or friends? Do you suffer from insecurity, fear, perfectionism or too high a workload? Do you lack financial resources or are you often single-handed in the household? Do you have problems at work or are you unemployed? Do you keep worrying about one situation or another, can't sleep well, do you have health problems or an addiction? They are all sorts of things: stress is everything that makes us mentally and/or physically unbalanced and it can have all sorts of causes".