Stress happens when we feel that we can’t cope with pressure and this pressure comes in many shapes and forms, and triggers physiological responses. Life can be stressful and overwhelming with its many demands which can trigger a response in us known as the fight or flight response. This is a hard-wired reaction to perceived threats to our survival. When survival had meant facing immediate and real threats such as confronting a predator in the past, our response would have saved our life. However in modern day society this physiological response leaves us viewing the world as a hostile place and we are fully prepared to fight or run. Whichever one we choose, our body will expend an immense amount of energy which drains us.
Modern society mostly provides a shield against predators. The inherent fight or flight response still resides in us but now it is triggered by different modern day situations. Many day-to-day situations can set it off – moving house, a deadline at work, a difficult boss, divorce, separation, demanding children, traffic jams, the fear of terrorism etc. This can lead to being over stressed and burn out resulting in physiological symptoms such as high blood pressure, rapid heart rate or shallow fast breath; being overly sensitive or aggressive.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Relational Psychotherapy and Mindfulness are effective ways of facilitating stress management. Learning to manage stress is a life skill which will improve the overall quality of daily life and will allow you to feel less anxious, more stable mood wise, energetic and focused.