How to Deal with Overwhelm and Stress in Aviation

17 Jun, 2022

In this post, our organization Aviation Action explains how to deal with stress and overwhelm.

Have you ever wondered why we put our palm to our brow in shock? People will do it spontaneously when they have forgotten something crucial or have received unexpected news.

Why do we do this, and what is the benefit?

The prefrontal cortex of the brain is located behind the brow. It is the most developed portion of the brain, but it is also the most vulnerable to the negative effects of stress.

The prefrontal cortex gets input from many parts of the brain and processes that information.

It manages our ideas, activities, and emotions and is responsible for executive processes such as mental control, working memory, and self-regulation.

The amygdala is the portion of the brain that inhibits the frontal lobes and triggers the fight-flight-freeze response during stress.

What to do to get quick relief from stress and exhaustion

The noticeable lumps on the front of the forehead above each brow are Emotional Stress Release (ESR) points, which are acupressure sites.

Holding these areas lightly with two fingers from each hand or your entire palm over your forehead increases blood flow to the prefrontal brain.

The increased blood flow permits the brain to process the stressful emotion more slowly, restoring your sensation of calm. That is why, when we experience a rapid surge of intense or overpowering emotion, we reflexively grip our foreheads.

As you hold the ESR points, you begin to process and release the emotion by recalling a stressful scenario or incident. Consider how it makes you feel and whether or not you can detect any feelings in your body.

For example, if anxiety is the underlying sense, people frequently have a hollow feeling in the stomach area (the location of the solar plexus: the area that is linked to the adrenals and prepares the body to respond to stress and produces the fight-flight-freeze response).

Colors, scents, or noises may pop into your head. There is no right or wrong; only pay attention to what arises when you focus on the stressor.

Continue to hold the ESR points while breathing gently and deeply. Hold softly until you lose sight of the problem. Then attempt to recall it again and observe whether the intensity has reduced.

This is a really basic and powerful instrument that we have at our disposal, and the best part is that it doesn't take long. If anything stressful happens at work, you may always go to the restroom to have some alone time to restore your calm!

Holding the ESR points provides instant relief and will assist you in regaining clarity on the right course of action to pursue.

Give it a go and let me know how it goes! Please contact me if you require any further information or assistance in getting started.

Meditation is an excellent method for dealing with long-term difficulties that cause tension or overload. Meditation practice over time helps to enhance blood flow to the prefrontal brain and improves self-control in stressful conditions.