Your stress response is a complex reaction to events, activities, situations, thoughts, or habits. This is where your body views them as harmful or dangerous to its survival. There are many healthy and unhealthy ways your body responds to stress. Below are just a few of the more common responses.
Unhealthy Stress Response
- Overeating, Clench/grind teeth, Exaggerated actions
- Release of cortisol, Adrenaline rush, Intense crying
- Skin Rash, High blood pressure, Impaired immune system
- Memory loss, Pessimism, Decreased concentration
- Depression, Anxiety, Anger
Healthy Stress Response
- Assertiveness, Time management, Prioritization
- Normal sex drive, Homeostasis, Balanced thyroid production
- Energy, Healthy digestive system, Overall feeling of wellbeing
- Cognitive reframe, Optimism, Ability to focus
- Joy, Engagement, Peace
Your healthy and unhealthy stress responses are controlled by your understanding of the perceived stress (threat). Two people can be experiencing the exact same situation. Based on their view and understanding can have two totally different responses. One person can actually have an unhealthy response that can linger for hours after the event or situation passes, causing them to miss opportunities and often speeding up the stress cycle, getting to stress threshold quickly. The other person could have a completely healthy response and be prepared for the next possible stress producer immediately, allowing them to maximize every opportunity presented to them.
The first step in controlling your stress response is to increase your awareness of your current response cycle. Document everything from the behavioral to emotional. Your goal is to interrupt your current pattern of response and you can not do that if you do not know what it is. It is your choice on how you might interpret a stress producer, choose wisely.
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