Attributes of total health: Psychological endurance

We can all handle brief periods of stress. As we know, in physical fitness, athletic competition, business innovation and even in some aspects of academia – some stress can be beneficial. The opportunity to achieve a goal or even exceed expectations can only come when failure, error, or losing is a possibility. Tendons, muscles, bones – when loaded by too many repetitions or under a sustained hold – can break down. The same can occur throughout many of the body systems, under prolonged psychological stress. The effects of excessive “load” in quantity or duration of psychological stress, is known to have undesirable effects on many systems: cardiovascular, immune, gastrointestinal, reproductive, cognitive, and back again to the musculoskeletal, in the form of incomplete recovery in soft tissues as well both directly and indirectly through sleep. The mechanisms are clear and becoming more clear: heart rate, resting blood pressure, respiration rate, sympathetic nervous system drive, blood sugar, hormones and neurotransmitters, and on. While some people choose to become endurance athletes and can handle more “time under tension” and repetitions – many of us would not “choose” to be psychological endurance tolerant. However, what will the effects of Covid19 do “for or to” us? Do you have enough psychological endurance to continue? Are you now “in training” to be more well-suited for the future, like it or not? Identify some de-stressors, if even brief…to give yourself a break – be that a laugh, a productive project, helping someone else, a favorite food, or even a brief bout of high intensity interval training (HIIT). In these antidepressant, pressure-alleviating activities, you will release dopamine, serotonin, or oxytocin – depending on which one you choose.