It's starting to become that time of year again, folks. Finals are suddenly approaching us. If you find yourself a little stressed -- well, look no further.
What is stress? Sometimes, we feel that we are well acquainted with it, but where does it come from? When your body feels that it is under pressure, the nervous system releases hormones to help us get through whatever it is feeling stressed about. These hormones include epinephrine (also commonly known as adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and cortisol. Epinephrine, or adrenaline, kickstarts your body's natural "fight or flight" response when presented with a stressful situation. Meanwhile, norepinephrine keeps you alert and on edge, aiding the "fight or flight" response as well. While your science project deadline may not be a hungry alligator chasing you, your body reacts pretty similarly in both situations! Cortisol is another stress hormone which can literally save your life by controlling some of your bodily functions that may not be needed in the moment. When a tool such a stress ball is used during these times, it may help reduce stress as you subconsciously redirect it to the stress ball. By keeping your hands occupied with the little squishy ball, some senses of your body are redirected, thus helping you feel less stressed!