‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’ -Viktor Frankl
On the third day of 2017, several hundred people gathered on a panoramic hill in Budapest to let out a collective scream. The event’s Facebook page cited how awful 2016 was, and that people had loads of pent up stress (1).
By now, everyone has shared his or her two cents about how to approach the stressful 2017 ahead. Just a few weeks ago, The Lancet reported a possible physiological mechanism for linking emotional stress to increased risk of heart disease.
Here at The Physiological Society, we are all about studying normal function or disease in living systems. Living systems can be human or animal. While we toss around the word stress, coined only around 50 years ago by Hans Selye, on the daily, there isn’t a definition that everyone agrees on.
Our stress response system is ubiquitous in the body, there are individual differences, responsiveness to stress changes over time, and the amount of influence of genes vs. environment is unclear.
This is why we are devoting all of 2017 to ‘Making Sense of Stress.’ Check here regularly for our growing list of activities across all areas of our work: events, outreach, education, policy, communications, and our journals. Contact us here to get involved.
(1) Science hasn’t actually shown yelling to be helpful for stress reduction, contrary to the bold claims of primal scream therapy in the 60s and 70s.