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The Biology of Stress, the Financial Meltdown and What to Do About It.
Esther M. Sternberg M.D., National Institute of Mental health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.
Why do you feel a thrill when riding a roller coaster but get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when watching the stock market and your 401k numbers take the same careening ride? What is it about these two experiences, which can make you feel stressed or stimulated?
Open up any newspaper, watch the television news reports, or surf the web in the last couple of weeks and you will see the faces of stock traders with the same expressions of alarm, whether they are based in the Americas, Asia, Europe, indeed, all over the world. Their brows are furrowed, they look anxious, you know they are sweating, that their hearts are pounding and that they have the urge to run to the bathroom. What you are watching is their biological stress response, writ large across their faces. You know how they feel because you feel it yourself and have felt it many times, every time you are stressed.