There are two types of stress
Good or Positive stress which helps us become alert and clear thinking
when we really need it -
e.g. in an emergency situation
or during an exam or interview.
Bad or Negative stress - which keeps our body continually 'on edge'
as if our life was in danger at all times.
To understand Stress properly we need to know about how our mind and body responds automatically to a perceived threat.
This response is commonly known as the
Fight or Flight Response
When we think we are being threatened, either physically or emotionally, our body responds exactly the same way today as our prehistoric ancestors body did
- it prepares to fight or flee (or in some cases 'freeze').
The response is under the control of the 'automatic nervous system' which in turn is controlled by the subconscious mind.
The automatic nervous system is made up of the
The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system which work together to maintain a state of equilibrium .
When we perceive something as a threat our sympathetic nervous system goes into action - adrenalin is released into the blood, muscles tense, the heart beats faster, blood pressure and blood sugar rises, blood becomes stickier ( to heal wounds) blood is diverted away from the stomach and the digestive process stops, as does the immune system.
Once the 'threat is over - the parasympathetic nervous system should go about reversing the above - relaxing the muscles etc.
However, a perceived, persistent threat can cause long term low level stress - which keeps the body on 'red alert'. This stops the body from returning to its relaxed state and interferes with the digestive system and more importantly the immune system and can result in illness.
Exercise and Relaxation are the main ways to combat stress and get the body back to a state of equilibrium and good health.
We can help calm our body down by concentrating on slowing down our breathing - which in turn slows down our heart beat.
Visualisation is an excellent way of doing this - as is meditation.
Dr. Bachs Rescue Remedy (buy everywhere including Tesco!) can help calm you down after a sudden shock etc. Also Camomile tea. (Do not use caffeine eg tea, coffee , cola etc)
Hypnotherapy can help teach you deep relaxation and also help change the way you think by going directly to the subconscious mind to alter your response to potentially stressful situations.
Our thoughts create Stress
The child feels excited but the the mother feels fear!
Fear is what you think!