Stress – Your very own Super Hero

Stress is one of those words that when uttered is largely associated with all things bad.  It’s true however, that feeling of overwhelm, never ending deadlines, worry, relationship problems, ill health…the list goes on…is something we would all love to avoid. The question is though, is all that actually stress?

The truth is, it isn’t.  The truth is, its our reaction to all these things that cause us to trigger our stress response – which is simply a physiological ‘knee jerk’ reaction in the body.  The things themselves are not stress and they do not cause it.

Don’t get me wrong, its bloody hard not to react when everything around seems to be falling apart, when people say/do the wrong thing, when the boss is looking over your shoulder – but if we can master that reaction and learn to control it (which takes practice) – the results will I’m sure be a great and wonderful surprise. 

Stress is in fact our friend (when triggered for the right reasons).  It’s there to give us that boost of energy when there is a real threat – a danger to our lives.  The hormones it releases sharpen the mind and prepare muscles for action, they ensure that we are in the best possible (physical & mental) state to ‘save our self’ from this threat.  This only causes a problem when we keep triggering that stress response unnecessarily.  When this happens we start to overdose on these hormones and then that causes more problems and the vicious cycle (chronic stress) begins.

Our stress response is in fact your very own internal Super Hero… but if you remember – when Superman first landed on earth – he had to learn how to harness his power, had to learn when to use it and when not to use it (to rest).  Next time you are feeling ‘stressed’ asked yourself “do I really need to feel this way, is there a real threat, or can I manage this without calling on my super hero?”

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