Everyone responds differently to stressful events. That stress response is part instinct and part to do with how we think. We can train our minds how to best respond to the stressors in our lives. Stress does not need to be all bad. Some stress in our daily lives is good and challenges us to reach even higher heights.
This ebook is dedicated to helping people, everywhere, to harness the stress in their lives and channel it into something that is beneficial and positive.
In 1932, Walter Cannon offered some of the earliest research on stress and established the theory of the “fight-or-flight” response. His work proved that when an organism experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it reacts instantly by releasing hormones that help it to survive.
In human beings and other animals, these hormones allow for greater speed and strength. Heart rate and blood pressure increases, delivering more oxygen and blood sugar to support major muscles.
Sweating increases to better cool the muscles and allowing them to remain efficient. Blood is regulated to reduce blood loss if there is any damaged. Hormones focus our attention on the threat, to the exclusion of everything else. All of this commands a heightened ability to survive life-threatening events.
We can also trigger this same reaction when faced with something unexpected or something that frustrates our goals. If the threat is small, our response will be likewise, we may not notice the stressor among the many other distractions of a stressful day.
This mobilization of the body to spring into survival mode also has negative consequences. We become excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable. This state can reduce our ability to be most effective. With shakiness and a pounding heart, we can find it difficult to carry out controlled skills.