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Stress – what it looks like and can it be helpful?

April 13th, 2021

I hope you are having a great start to your week! In today’s post we are going to find out what stress looks like and I will share with you what I have been discovering in the book titled, “Why zebras don’t get ulcers,” and how this is relevant to our lives.

As we identified last week, stress is a demand for change. Today we will look at one of the most basic and primal responses to stress: fight or flight. The fight or flight decision is a response to a physical threat or stressor. Pretty simple right? This response is essential, and we need that rush of adrenaline to help us survive when we are in danger. Example: If you are in Africa and being chased by a rhinoceros, you have a decision to make – stop and fight the animal or run for your life. Most likely you will run for your life. Your adrenaline will kick in and fuel your body to move your muscles to aid in your attempt to outrun the animal and live another day.

Let’s dig deeper. If all or most of our energy is going to outrun the immediate threat, where do we take that energy from? Our bodies stop/slow some functions in order to give that energy to help us move. Are you with me? For instance, when we are running for our lives, digesting our lunch and growing our hair are not our main concerns, so these activities are put on hold. Make sense? These non-essential (at-the-moment) activities will resume when we are out of danger and our fight or flight stress response is no longer active. The problem comes when we are in a constant state of stress and our body never gets to recover. When this happens, we can experience weight fluctuation, hormone imbalance, fatigue and even decreased immunity. All of that sounds no good to me!

Did you know that humans can make up and cause their own stress response without the presence of an actual threat? Anxiety and worry trigger our stress response. While reading, “Why zebras don’t get ulcers,” this line stuck out to me and actually caused me to stop, reread and highlight it because it is that good! “If you repeatedly turn on the stress-response, or if you cannot appropriately turn off the stress-response at the end of a stressful event, the stress-response can eventually become nearly as damaging as some stressors themselves.” Read that again. How important is a plan to manage your stress – essential! This week begin to identify instances when you create stress and how/if you recover from it. This will help you begin to develop your stress management plan!

I am so glad you tuned in this week for my blog! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

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