When sweat doesn’t cool.
Sweating is a natural bodily function. But when we perspire heavily and therefore begin to develop an unpleasant bodily odour, for example due to stress at work, it can become problematic. It is unpleasant for oneself or even worse: for others.
What makes the sympathetic nervous system disagreeable?
Perspiration cannot be wilfully controlled. The sympathetic nervous system assumes this task. The propulsive part of the nervous system determines how much sweat is produced. The parasympathetic nervous system has a calming effect. The interplay of the two systems can result in the sympathetic system gaining control. The consequence: We sweat more.
We sweat in different places depending on the cause.
When it is hot, when we exert ourselves physically, the sweat begins to roll down the face and than over the entire body. When we are stressed, the palms of our hands and soles of our feet begin to perspire.
Fight or flight?
When excited or stressed the following can happen: Our hands and feet begin to sweat. This has nothing to do with temperature regulation. The stress hormone, adrenaline, is responsible for this reaction. It is easier to climb a tree with moist hands and feet. That was once helpful when fleeing danger. Today, it is unpleasant, when we want to shake someone’s hand or have wet circles form under our armpits.
The reason for sweating is easy to understand. However, we do not have to accept it. Controlled sweating makes life easier.