What comes to mind when you hear the term mental toughness? To whom would you explain it? It’s true to say that poise, or maintaining composure under pressure, confidence, focus, and composure, all contribute to the capacity to manage and lessen the human fight, flight, or freeze stress reaction. These terms have a flaw in that they all outline a desired outcome without explaining how to get there. When someone asks you to define physical toughness, you can probably explain both the desired outcome—strength, resilience, etc.—and the process—rigorous training, exercise, pushing oneself. You are aware of what to do. And what about mental fortitude? What kind of exercise and training is that? Other than being pursued by a bear?

Everybody gets stressed out. In technical terms, stressors are what we encounter and they trigger the human stress response. Human stress response with stressors equals stress.) The key to excellence is how you handle it, how you continue to be able to reason, decide, and act with clarity. Although it is the cornerstone of high performance, exceptional performers do not naturally possess this skill. The most successful performers, businesspeople, leaders, athletes, and warriors all begin with a natural stress reaction that we all share, but as they develop, they receive assistance and training in managing it. With the help of parents, coaches, mentors, and other performers, as well as numerous opportunities to perform, they learn early on how to handle pressure and become more adept at it.Through trial and error, they largely accidentally pick up stress inoculation.

Even though many of us lack this kind of guidance, we can all learn how to become more adept at managing the stress reaction in humans by developing our mental toughness. You can use mental toughness in stressful situations by practicing several activities that help you become more adept at managing the human stress reaction. The methods discussed are intended to assist in reducing the immediate consequences of the human stress reaction in order to enhance performance.

Imagine yourself in the prehistoric era, watching as a pair of cavemen are charged by a saber-toothed tiger. Fred the caveman watches the beast and considers his options carefully. Barney the caveman scoffs. A thinker named Fred is consumed by the beast and ends up as the main attraction at a Flintstones funeral. Because he prioritizes action over thought, Barney survives the onslaught and gets to pass on his genes to future generations. He created the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is now known to be the pivotal point of the human stress response. Even though we love Fred, we are Barney’s descendants.

An internal system called the HPA axis detects impending danger and releases hormones to ready our response. The hypothalamus kicks in and the sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive when the human body is under stress, such as when faced with a bear that is charging toward it or a challenging interview question. All of this occurs more quickly than the brain can interpret what it is hearing and seeing. The body functions without conscious thought.

That is how the stress response is physiologically. The truth is a jumble of mental and bodily alterations. In order to better supply oxygen to muscles and organs, the heart rate rises. In order to keep blood near essential organs, vessels constrict (caveman Fred can lose an arm to a saber-tooth tiger and not bleed die as quickly). An increase in blood pressure occurs. In order to improve eyesight and let in more light, pupils dilate. More oxygen enters the lungs through the opening of the bronchioles, which are tiny airways. More fats and sugars are released into the bloodstream, increasing energy and sharpening of the senses. Tensed muscles, shallow, fast breathing, and tears welling up are all signs of this. When you’re in serious danger, don’t worry about your digestion because it slows down.

Most importantly, the frontal lobe of the brain loses its executive capabilities. Impairment occurs in advanced problem solving, judgment, and decision making. Things get more complex, it becomes harder to focus and remember things, and ideas race. Thinking requires time, which is a valuable resource when death is near. Your HPA tells your body to do rather than think.

All of this was of great use to our ancestors back then, when their only choices in dangerous situations were to fight, run, or freeze; a moment’s hesitation could mean the difference between life and death. But these days, it frequently causes problems. We must be able to think and evaluate quickly in today’s demanding settings, which is difficult to do without a frontal lobe. may require fine motor abilities in their extremities, which are harder to acquire in areas with reduced blood supply. For instance, the ability to shoot, move, and communicate are among the Navy SEALs’ fundamental competencies. Human stress reaction jeopardizes all of these.

Topics #brain #Mental Toughness #Stress