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Some random facts about stress!!

💦I'm one of those people who love learning random facts about things - if you are too then read on! Did you know that : 💦Stress in mothers can actually affect the development of babies brains? Excess maternal cortisol and catecholamines (stress hormones) may impact brain development, the gut brain axis, risk of mood disorders, and increase premature birth. It can even impact risk of metabolic disease and obesity in adulthood 💦Stress is contagious! Stressed mice emit pheromones that triggers off stress in other mice, a similar effect is thought to occur in humans. It's not just the body language or words of others that transmits stress, it may actually be chemical signals 💦 Physical touch (stroking skin or hair) at the rate of 3-5cm/second reduces cortisol levels. Interestingly this is the rate that parents naturally stroke their babies /children to calm them, and also the rate we stroke pets 💦The gut brain axis is very real - in animal studies where the vagus nerve (which connects gut and brain) is cut, antidepressants stop working, and gut bacteria no longer influences mood 💦 Cold water therapy can reduce stress - jumping in the ocean midwinter is not such a bad idea! Hormetic stresses (fasting also comes under this) reduce stress by reducing cortisol, boosting endorphins, and slowing down the heart rate. They may also help depression, anxiety, autoimmune disease and immune function. 💦Stress can actually alter your genes. Studies of people with PTSD have shown that this stress can switch on/off the expression of genes (epigenetics) and the effect can even be passed on to future generations. Even phobias can be transmitted 😬 💦Nature reduces stress - one study looking at people walking in urban vs natural environments found that nature significantly reduced cortisol independent of exercise level 💦Stress can be a huge trigger for gut issues - and gut directed hypnosis can work as well as dietary changes for people with ibs 😊

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