Defining Stress

That was the first question Dr. Bevilaqua addressed last Wednesday.

Cry, Zoom, Effect, Stress, Angry, Hustle And Bustle

A volunteer from the audience wrote down the responses that were brainstormed by the audience.  A variety of responses abounded:

  • feeling out of control
  • feeling helpless
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • pressure
  • anxiety/fear
  • too much to do and not enough time to do it
  • high expectations
  • high stakes
  • the “fight or flight” response (he told us “they” also have added “freeze”)
  • fear
  • the body’s response to a perceived threat  (that was mine!)

The list was much longer, but they started to morph into manifestations like:

  • headaches
  • stomach aches
  • school avoidance
  • irritability
  • sleeplessness
  • negative self talk
  • obsession/perseverating
  • catastrophizing
  • projecting

It was clear that the audience was very clear on what stress is and how to identify it.  Most likely, it was from first-hand appearance.

Not to toot my own horn, but of all the people who offered responses, mine was the only one that made him do a double-take.  He really like that “perceived” qualifier, and I think it’s important to recognize that distinction.

Brain, Turn On, Education, Read, BookWhile I’m not suggesting we ignore our brain’s response to a stimuli (in the form of adrenaline, among others) — which can have its own set of negative consequences — I am saying that if we can change our perception of an event, we can retrain our brain how to react to the situation, thereby actually changing our stress level.

Think of a dog running toward you.  If you like dogs, it’s a happy moment.  But if you fear them, you are in a panic.  The dog hasn’t changed; you have.  You might defend your fear by saying, “But what if the dog is mean?  I should be afraid, right???”  Possibly.  But what does running away from a mean accomplish?  They chase you even faster.  Better to face the dog and stand your ground.  And for that, you’ll need to be prepared.  Rottweiler, Running Dog, Jump

Changing perception — and having a good skill set for when stress is unavoidable — is the key to managing stress with the ultimate goal of staying stress-free… which you’d think is the goal of the workshop…

But that’s not exactly what happened over the course of the evening…

Make it your #153Promise to come back tomorrow for the next installment of my notes on the “Stress Workshop” I attended last week.

-Kisses! XxXx

 

 

 

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