Stress and your hands?

I read something interesting the other day. It was about how stress affects the body. At one of the places I have worked, I continuously help people manage stress, but one of the things I am always looking for is how to become more aware intense stress that we are holding onto in our lives. I have found it incredibly hard to manage stress or any negative emotion if awareness of the intensity or existence of that emotion is available.

We all have negative emotions. Stress, anxiety, anger, and fear are all present at some point within each one of us. Each person deals with those emotions differently. Yet, most people don’t practice emotion management on a daily basis because they don’t know that they need to. How many times have you become angry or over reacted and later regretted how you dealt with the situation? I can’t pass judgement on you, because I am guilty of this too!

If we could only determine ahead of our reaction that our emotions have become too intense. Well, I read an article about how stress effects the temperature of your hands.

The Concept: When we become stressed in any way, the temperature of our hands become cooler.  Examples of stress: Driving a car in heavy traffic, Taking a test, Talking to a superior, etc.

Hmm, it seems funny to me, because I would assume our pulse would increase and our blood would move faster through the body, thus, warming the whole body with the blood. HOWEVER, it is suggested that when a person becomes stressed, the blood flow actually travels more to the brain and away from the hands and, POOF, cooler hands. The reason it travels to the brain and away from extremities is to allow for greater ability to think through the issue.

If you want to know more about the why, google “stress and cold hands.”

I do not want to dwell too much on the fact that stress can cause hands and feet to cool, but I do think its important to have multiple ways to identify when your emotions are getting the best of you. I think knowing your body and how it responds to your emotions is a very important tool to managing your emotions and reactions. If I can become so in tune with these bodily reactions, then I will be one step closer to having better relationships and a better life.

The tools to managing stress are many, but recognizing when your hands are abnormally cool can be a possible sign that the stress and anxiety of life may be getting to you.