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Living With Stress

endured? Or, for that matter, the ancestors of every living thing on this earth?

'It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.'
- Charles Darwin

To survive the harshest conditions and cope with them to ensure continued survival was living with stress one caused by ever - changing conditions. Our lives, through the portals of evolution, are a constant reminder of an innate ability to battle and overpower stress.

Stress can even induce genetic changes in living forms, especially when a species or population faces a genetic bottleneck. Evidence of such natural occurrences comes from the Nobel Prize winning scientist, Barbara McClintocks research on 'the significance of responses of the genome to challenges. These challenges or stress factors may be temperature changes, DNA damage, irradiation, virus or others. Genetic variations significantly alter the population giving rise to newer, evolved forms.

Genetic bottleneck or population bottleneck is an evolutionary event where 50% or more of a species or population is killed or prevented from reproducing.

The lesson learnt is, we can allow stress to either serve us or master us. It all boils down to how we handle stress.

Handling stress

'Nothing can be meaner than the anxiety to live on, to live on anyhow and in any shape.'
-George Santayana

Our brain is naturally programmed to handle challenging situations. Under stress, it simply fires out orders and the fight or flight response kicks in. Stress hormones adrenaline and cortisone spring into action. Blood pressure rises and the body prepares to react to the stress. An appr
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