You are now on your 3rd cup of coffee tonight and only 3 pages in your 12 page paper that is due 7 hours from now at 8 am in the morning. You are trying your best to put the point you are trying to make in decipherable words. But the harder you try to think of the point you are trying to make, the more you keep thinking about how unfunny Geico commercials are getting and how the Progressive commercials are starting to grow on you. It has been a half hour since you wrote a sentence. You turn to mathematics for some consolation by trying to use ratios to figure out how long this hell would last. That is when you realize that at this rate the paper would be done in approximately another 4 days. You start contemplating how you got in to this situation in the first place and wonder whether this is the universe’s way of getting back at you for not being a vegan.
Oh the bitter, heart attack inducing sounds of stress. Stress is one of the most debilitating emotions a human has to experience. It makes it difficult to work efficiently and prevents one from thinking clearly.
What steps can we take in order to relieve stress? I know what you are thinking, and no, I am not talking about anything that requires a lighter and Cool Ranch Doritos.
That is right, all you need is water. It turns out that even mild dehydration can affect one’s mood, thinking ability, and energy levels. This is surprising because when we think of dehydration being a problem we usually refer to some desert cliché with someone walking around in sand seeing mirages. But it turns out that even a 1.5 percent loss of water in our body can affect us drastically through a hindrance of our cognitive ability and emotional stability.
What is circumstantially hilarious is that our body does not recognize that it is dehydrated till it is too late. Lawrence Armstrong is one of the lead scientist in the studies that connect dehydration to cognitive and emotional disturbance and states that, “Our thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until we are one per cent or two per cent dehydrated.” At that point we are already feeling the negative effects from the lack of water. Armstrong’s research consisted of putting mildly dehydrated and hydrated subjects through tests that focused on things such as concentration, memory, and reasoning. Her studies found that women who were mildly dehydrated experienced fatigue, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Men who were mildly dehydrated also experienced fatigue, anxiety, loss of memory and vigilance.
Anxiety, fatigue, lack of concentration and memory are all catalysts of stress. Sometimes the simplest factors can contribute to relieving us from our weakest emotions. Everybody hates that guy who walks around with a 2 liter water jug, but it turns out that the douche has got something good going there. Since our bodies are not aware of our stress igniting dehydration till it is too late, it is better if we constantly sip water. So next time you are struggling with the consequences of procrastinating while writing your essay, take a sip of water and the words will come to you like never before.