It’s everywhere. We hear about it when we’re roaming the supermarket aisles, sitting in the doctor’s office, during every second phone conversation. We hear about stress. This time of year. Deadlines. Sleepless nights. We’re tried, we’re stressed, we run out of descriptive words.
Wouldn’t it be great to just turn it off? No more stress. (Though, I wonder what we’d talk about.)
We are getting closer and closer to the reality of a stress vaccine.
Research is underway at Columbia University in the US, where mice are being injected with immune cells to heighten their resilience against stress.
The same researchers are also studying the drug Ketamine, commonly used to treat depression, and the way it might be able to combat the physiological symptoms of high stress.
Different research, at Stanford University in the US, is exploring a way to stop the release of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) after it reaches a certain concentration level in the blood stream.
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Before you start thinking all your Christmas’s have come at once, don’t get too excited.
Stress is good for you.
Sure, cortisol is responsible for our shallow breathing and racing heart before a job interview, but it’s also responsible for propelling us out of the way of a moving truck before the brain has time to register what’s happening.
We need stress to live (and stay alive) but, for some, the dangerous and debilitating side effects of stress outweigh the positives. These are the people who would most benefit from a stress vaccine.