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  • What’s Your Personal Stress Response?

    stressed outEveryone has stress. It’s just part of life; always has been, always will be. Ideally, stress would be episodic – we’d experience stress, resolve it, and move on. After all, the body’s fight or flight response is really only designed to kick in for something like 15-20 minutes at a time. Unfortunately in today’s world, most stress doesn’t come in the form of a physical threat that you can either fight or flee.

    You can’t very well punch your boss in the nose when (s)he hands you three projects with a due date of yesterday. Neither can you run away when (s)he goes off on a micromanaging tirade (at least not if you want to continue drawing a paycheck). Nope, most of our stress falls into the mental and emotional category and it’s persistent. Persistent stress has the ability to reset our baseline of what feels stressful. It’s not that it affects us any less, it’s just that we’ve gotten used to a certain level of stress which now feels “normal” even though it’s not. This can be dangerous because persistent or high levels of stress can negatively affect you in many ways.

    For this reason, it’s important to know your personal stress response; that is, how your body and mind react to stress. Here’s a list of common responses to too much stress to get you started:

    • Raised blood pressure
    • Crave sweets
    • Crave salty foods
    • Eating when you’re not hungry
    • Hair loss
    • Fatigue/exhaustion
    • Insomnia
    • Oversleeping
    • Irritability
    • Anger out of proportion to situation
    • Apathy
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Racing thoughts
    • Headaches
    • Reduced immunity (catch every bug you come in contact with)
    • Flare up of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
    • Flare up of digestive conditions like colitis or IBS
    • Muscle tension/pain
    • Weight loss
    • Weight gain
    • Change in sleep habits
    • Self-medicating with food, alcohol, drugs, electronic/computer games
    • Change in social habits

    What is your personal stress response? Leave a comment below, let’s see how similar or different our stress responses are.

    Psssttt… don’t forget to share this with all your stressed out peeps.