How we handle stress
How we react in response to situation or circumstance
When we receive information via our senses that we perceive to be stressful, a number of things happen instantaneously and subconsciously: first of all our bodies respond as if there is a threat, then habitual feelings and emotions come up because our reactions are filtered through the screens of our past. Our stress predisposition or stress tolerance and these feelings and emotions then cause us to react and behave in specific, seemingly ingrained, ways.
For more information see Journey to Self Discovery.
How we cause ourselves stress or aggravate our situation
Unrealistic expectations, biased assumptions, guilt, critical self-talk, gross exaggeration, focusing on the negative, implied and outright criticism, and misunderstandings can all cause stress because we feel threatened or compromised in some way so we feel we have to protect ourselves.
Possibly, our most difficult challenge is trying to live up to our own standards and ideals, which are often unrealistic. This can make us feel far from perfect; not ok. Being perfect, or needing to be perfect is a whole topic on its own and is a bit of a mind warp: whether we are or not, what is and what isn’t, and how much is or not.
Do we really have to be perfect?
We are all perfect on a certain level and in certain ways. We need to understand that we will not always be able to live up to our idea of perfect and nor will others, and that’s ok.
What happens in the stress activation response?
The perceived threat to our equilibrium activates the fight, flight or freeze response whether we are experiencing a real or perceived physical threat. The subconscious does not know the difference and reacts as if it is a real threat. The greater the perceived peril, the greater the stress level and the longer we stay at that elevated stress level, the worse it gets, and the more extreme our response.
Why does this stress activation happen?
We have base priory assumptions that precede thought and feeling and inform our attitude and mindset. (Mindset is a result of the way we were brought up; i.e. pre-programming.)
How does our mindset and attitude impact on our stress levels?
We have certain things we believe (e.g. generalisations and prejudices) that we base all our decisions on. Usually it is the way these things make us feel that ‘forces’ us to behave the way we do.
Our stress response informs how we react to stressful circumstances or how we respond to a stressful situation and is based on our fight, flight, or freeze response.
When we accept and acknowledge it, it means we can do something about it. As long as we think this is not so, or that we are not driven by these responses, we will not take responsibility for our actions and we will be a puppet to these primitive responses.
Dismiss and fire the gremlins in your head, give them marching orders. Release them and let them go and do their mischief somewhere else. We have many ways to help you do this.