Stress is the body way of dealing with a threat or pressure.When wefeel stressed or under pressure, our nervous system release’s of a number of hormones, the main two being cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones prepare you for whats commonly known as the fight or flight response, allowing you to safely react to a situation.
Once you have dealt with the threat, your body is then designed to get rid of these hormones so your body can return to its natural relaxed state.
This flight or flight response was great for when we lived in prehistoric times and were faced with very real dangers such as a sabre tooth tiger eating you. However, in today’s society, we don’t often face that many real threats. Instead we have perceived threats.
The threat of not having enough money, of deadlines at work, to constantly look good, of toxic relationships, of not being judged, of keeping the house clean or meeting that deadline at work; the list goes on and on
As a society that’s constantly on the go, we always seem to have a million and one things to do, which is fine, but all those little things can be interpreted by our mind as a perceived threat.
These perceived threats cause our body to respond in the same way it would an actual threat and our fight or flight response is triggered in a bid to ensure our survival.
As a result of experiencing these perceived threats on a near daily basis, many of us have a chronic build-up of adrenaline and cortisol flowing through our bodies. This then results in many of us developing chronic stress.
To help cope with our ever-increasing stress levels, our minds will often go into autopilot to deal with everyday tasks such as cooking, driving, house work etc.. so that the task doesn’t overwhelm us.
I don’t know about you, but there are some days I go into autopilot and without even thinking, I get on with everything that needs to be done.
Get the kids up, walk the dog, make lunches, exercise, work, housework, dinner, bath the kids, go to bed.
It doesn’t matter what it is that’s on your to-do list each day, this type of autopilot lifestyle often means that all your daily emotions and stressors become buried deep inside as your mind still perceives these daily stressors as threats.
This coping mechanism ensure’s that you have the ability to continue to push on with your daily grind, which is great when you’re busy, but as a downside results in a chronic build-up of stress.