How we respond to stress can vary a lot from person to person and if you’re someone who is very prone to feeling stressed, you may well wonder what it is that causes this.
Why do some people respond well to stress but others are strongly affected by the same amount of stress?
There have been a few studies about this, which have put forward some explanations of why we deal with stress differently.
Theory #1 – It’s in Your Genes
Studies have suggested that the way you respond to stress can be down to your genes.
The culprit is a stress molecule known as nuclear factor kappa B (NF KB). This can encourage the “fight or flight” stress response, which can make you more likely to develop depression and even cancer.
Here’s the good news though: meditation can actually decrease the amount of kappa B that your body produces, which has an impact on the way that you then handle stress.
Experts believe that meditation can go as far as to change how we respond to stress and anxiety at molecular level.
Theory #2 – Electrical Signals in the Brain
A study on mice showed electrical patterns in the brain that researchers believe can predict how well they cope with stress.
In time, they hope that this could be expanded to also help to tell whether people are likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and other mental health problems if they are already badly affected by stress.
The study looked at the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, which are linked to both stress response and fear. The mice who were more prone to being affected by stress had more interaction between these two areas of the brain while being exposed to stressful situations and this was also the case before this too.
Even mice who were genetically identical responded differently to stress and researchers believe that this was the result of having varying electrical patterns in their brains.