The Upside of Stress  

Stress can induce OCD tendencies which we can choose to express, or internalise - ultimately there's two options when we're under stress-anxiety; ruminate, or dust under the piano. The most important thing we need to remember is to channel all that nervous-tension into a productive task. Embrace the overzealous attention to detail and de-clutter your life - AKA bathroom cupboards, instagram feed, and message log.

Stress induced anxiety is common, high cortisol levels increases adrenalin, we can't 'switch off' - and it's quite literally a switch, as our brain needs to alternate between alpha and beta brainwaves to survive without melting... Cue ruminating and obsessive thoughts. If you’re strung-out, sometimes the best remedy is to occupy your hands with a productive task that requires sorting, organising and structure.. While meditation is the recommended cure for an overactive mind, it's hardly helpful when we're in the throws of a beta-brain.

Dopamine is the responsible for feeling inspired. It’s the neuro chemical that motivates us, or inspires us to achieve something. Physically cleaning; mopping, vacuuming, washing the windows, or just getting into a space we've wanted to unravel for a while can give us a sense of accomplishment fuelling our dopamine and increasing the likelihood of accomplishing more. Productivity inspires productivity, the more you do the more you will want to do. Increase your dopamine by tracking your accomplishments, and keeping track of your small feats.

While you're stressed, not only does cortisol disrupt sleep, appetite and metabolism, but it also lowers the potential for Tryptophan -  the precursor to serotonin, to be produced. So it literally makes you miserable. If you’re chronically stressed, high cortisol will zap you of your natural ability to produce tryptophan, and consequentially, serotonin. Do things that increase serotonin ( like exercise) to decrease the production of cortisol (switch off your notifications) so you can naturally produce more tryptophan, and feel more like yourself.