When faced with a threat, the body’s defence’s kick into the “fight-or-flight” response. The body calls upon all its forces to confront the on coming threat and protect you from harm. Its your body’s defence mechanism, resulting in the following reactions:
- Heartbeat increases; pumping blood to the necessary parts of the body quickly.
- Blood pressure increases
- Blood flow:
- is constricted to the digestive organs.
- increases to the brain and major organs.
- increases to the major muscles.
- constricted to the extremities e.g. hands and feet
- Muscles tense up
- Breathing becomes more shallow and rapid.
- Your nervous system releases stress hormones such as Adrenaline into the bloodstream.
- Blood loss in case of injury is prevented by your Blood vessels constricting
- Your Pupils dilate allowing more light in and other senses become heightened
- The liver releases stored sugar into the blood stream
- Other non-essential body processes are suppressed.
- Your digestive system is slowed down, as is your reproductive system
- Growth hormones are turned off.
- Your immune response is repressed.
- The body perspires
- Metabolic rate increases
- Blood clotting agents are released.
Thankfully it does stop short of turning you into The Incredible Hulk.
These stress responses are there to protect and support us and have their uses, in the right circumstances, particularly life-or-death situations. They help us to fight with more strength or run away faster.
In the world we find ourselves in today, most of our stress is brought on by psychological threats, not physical ones; it’s just that our minds and bodies can’t tell the difference. The stress response will be activated over an approaching deadline, an argument with the wife, a mass of unpaid bills, your teenage daughter being late home, your petrol warning light flashing on a country road. So no differently to a caveman confronting a dinosaur, our bodies go into this automatic response.
In today’s world so many of us are faced with so many different roles and responsibilities, it is not surprising we feel as though we are under constant pressure. We face so many problems, and worry about so many things; we are constantly operating at high stress levels. We frequently jump in and out of emergency mode. Once we’ve dealt with one crisis we lurch into the next.
The more frequently our stress response is activated, the harder it is to turn it off. Instead of subsiding once an emergency has gone, our stress hormones, and increased heart rate and blood pressure remain high. This in turn takes a heavy toll on the body.
The risk to your health, and threat of serious illness, is increased dramatically through this constant exposure to stress. That is why learning to deal with stress is essential for you, learning tools and techniques that will help you handle stress in a positive way, and thereby reducing the harmful impact that stress has on your life. When stress is in control of you, it also controls your attitude to life and your physical health.
Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose’. ~ Maureen Killoran
Stress comes from our internal perception of the world and the things that we perceive to be threatening to us.
Have you noticed how much doom and gloom there is in the world? What are our newspapers full of? The news programmes on television. We are always forced to read or hear about disasters, poverty and famine, terrorism, deaths, financial crisis, crime and other very negative, gloomy news. All this contributes further to our own personal stress. How often do you hear people talking about climate change? I hear people discussing and getting stressed about the fact that we in the UK will never see a hot summer again. Now in 2011 we are reading and hearing about an economic downturn, and we are certainly seeing panic set in.
Nowadays you can’t get away from the hustle and bustle of life. There’s no escaping. If people want to get hold of you, it’s now so easy. With new technology, phones, internet, emails, text messaging, all of which are supposed to have provided us with more time, have now made us contactable most of the time, and there seems to be no escaping from any part of our lives, particularly work.
Today stress is triggered by rush hour traffic, exams, late nights, missing a deadline, a bounced cheque at the bank or having an argument with our supervisor, boss or spouse as well as major Life events.
Having a certain amount of pressure in our lives is good. It gets us going. What is important is keeping the pressures on you at the right level. Too much pressure, on a constant basis doesn’t allow you recovery time, and can result in health problems. So is it surprising that so many people now suffer from stress? There is no stigma to being diagnosed as suffering from stress, it’s now so common. There is no divide, no class distinction; it’s the price many of us are paying for modern living.
It’s impossible to escape from pressure totally, so its really important to acquire methods to help you manage stress effectively. In this artlcle, I shall shortly provide you a list of previous articles which contain a variety of ways to reduce the negative impact of stress.
So let me make this very clear. A small amount of pressure is good in that it gets you alert, helps maintain your motivation to get things done, and allows you to perform well those things that you must do. But, when there is too much pressure, or the pressure of certain things is sustained for a length of time, this becomes stress. Stress, we know, when it gets too much will cause physical and emotional problems, as well as ill health. Through this blog at times I give you the tools and techniques to manage stress effectively. Today let me provide you with some links to some of the articles where I’ve written about some of these:
- 8 Relaxation Techniques That You Can Use Daily
- Relaxation Technique One Deep Breathing
- Relaxation Technique 2 Progressive Muscular Relaxation
- Relaxation Technique Three Meditation
- Relaxation Technique Four Visualisation
- Relaxation Technique Five Get Into Centre
- Relaxation Technique Six Mental Imagery
- Stop Stressing I said Stop
- The Long Road of Parenting 10 Tips for Your Journey
- Start to Reduce your Stress
In today’s world, it’s becoming ever harder to escape the effects of stress. So, use these articles to learn the techniques that can help you cope with stress. Enjoy the relaxing benefits.