The final step in the stress process is ‘stress.’
Stress is the label we commonly use to describe the cocktail of brain – mind – body changes we experience as a result of activating the stress response. These changes are:
- cognitive (the way think),
- emotional (the way we feel and our moods),
- physiological (the way our body changes)
- behavioural (the way we behave)
The way stress affects us is unique to us. We all experience stress differently.
Stress is a vital component in our survival kit.
Acute stress is the name given to the stress that we experience in response to a present danger. It is a vital component in our survival kit. It prepares our mind and body to confront, or run away from, an immediate danger. It also helps us to plan and prepare for possible danger.
The more intense our fear or anxiety, the more intense is our experience of stress. So, sheer terror will elicit more severe symptoms than those triggered by mild apprehension.
The body’s stress-response is usually self-limiting, so our experience of stress ends once the danger or perceived threat has passed. At that point the relaxation response is triggered and stress hormone levels drop, our heart rate and blood pressure returns to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.
Chronic Stress is harmful
However, stress often becomes the stimulus for a new cycle of the S.T.R.E.S.S. process, and we can quickly get caught in a ‘stress loop’, a self-perpetuating cycle in which the process repeats itself over and over, with each repetition ramping up the intensity and duration of the experience.
Prolonged activation of the stress response, and the constant stress (chronic stress) it creates, can disrupt almost all our body’s processes. Research shows that chronic stress underlies many of the illnesses and diseases that are overwhelming our health system and destroying the quality of middle and late life.
That’s why it’s so important for us to learn:
to recognise the signs that tell us we are experiencing stress. Click here for information on the signs of stress (bonus downloadable poster showing the effects of stress)
ways to intervene in the S.T.R.E.S.S Process so we create less stress
how to reduce the level of the stress we are experiencing
I’ve helped many people learn these skills. If you would like to explore how I can help you, simply invest in a no obligation complimentary 60 minute consultation. It could prove to be the most valuable and life changing 60 minutes of your life.
If you believe you are experiencing chronic stress I recommend you consult your doctor or a health professional in the first instance, but don’t underestimate your own ability to take action to take back control of your S.T.R.E.S.S. Process and reduce your anxiety and stress levels.
Have a safe and stress free week.
P.S. Please do ask me any questions you may have about anxiety and stress - I am always delighted to answer them.
Tony Yuile is hired by people seeking help to perform at their best in one or more areas of their lives. He's a personal performance coach & hypnosis professional based in Wellington NZ, where he specialises in helping people perform under pressure, reduce anxiety and manage stress. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of co-active coaching, hypnosis, positive psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
Contact Tony today to discuss how he can help you, or if you think Tony could help someone you know, you might like to encourage them to get in touch with him.