The neuroscience behind the stress of working from home

The neuroscience behind the stress of working from home

Who thought working from home would be great?

Maybe you quietly celebrated the thought of working from your comfortable home until your comfort zone became your stress zone - a land mine of distractions and a multitasking nightmare. What used to be your safehaven has now become your all-in-one stress zone.There are no boundaries separating you from the need to open your laptop, get on at work call, and tackle the dreaded barrage emails each morning. Not only that, the demands of your life (preparing and making meals, Your spouse's needs, children's needs, your pet's needs, the clutter you meant pick up, the bills that need paying staring you in the face, the laundry that needs doing, another still on the floor…) don't stop.

Your brain is on overload and when you are stimulated from every direction all at once the old reptilian parts of your brain become activated. Yes that's right, reptilian parts.The most primitive parts of the brain hardwired for anxiety - aka survival. It is not mind over mood. When your brain is activated in a way that is overstimulating and overwhelming all at once, your brain chemistry changes instantly without your awareness for control. Stress triggers an automatic cascade of chemical responses. These responses connect the brain to the rest of the body. When the brain detects increased heart rate, muscle tension, or a sudden change in breathing the hypothalamus  releases different hormones which lead to a louder and better orchestrated set of stress responses. These chemical actions are completely automatic and they are all supposed to turn off as soon as the threat is gone. When the threat is perceived to hang around for long periods of time, you guessed it, there is no turning off. There are also times when stressors are gone, but the stress response still doesn't turn off.

Feeling stressed and anxious all the time and number of potential consequences in the body including decreasing the effectiveness of the immune system. Many people are at higher risk of getting sick they're chronically stressed. Find time to take breaks. Find to take care of your personal needs. These things are a priority. Sleeping enough, drink enough water, move your body to a point of increasing your heart and respiratory rate 3-5 times a week. Sit quietly, even for two minutes, to find the point of stillness within you is also very helpful in reducing mind chatter.

We will see the other side of this crisis. In the meantime, try to be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can.

Join Dr. Daina Debly and Michael Parker P2L in an informative webinar May 26th at 1200 EST on this very topic. Visit or for a link to register for the webinar or feel free to email us at for more information.