“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~Viktor Frankl
These days we can’t seem to get away from stress. Well all feel it, and we all hate it. Even my sister’s two dogs are on a special diet for their stress-induced digestive issues, and I’m pretty sure they hate stress too.
Recently it hit me: Our relationship with stress is dysfunctional. No wonder we’re stuck in an anxiety-ridden existence!
Stress is Love
Stress has gotten a bad rep, but it serves an important function—it keeps us safe from danger. Closely linked to our ability to feel fear, stress enables us to be alert and respond to perceived threats in our environment.
When we perceive a threat, the amygdala in our brain sends a distress signal to our hypothalamus, which activates our sympathetic nervous system. This switches our body into “fight or flight” mode, triggering a series of physiological responses to help us get away from whatever is threatening us.
Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released, and our heart rate and blood pressure increase. Our blood sugar levels rise to give us more energy, and our breath quickens. This sharpens our senses and gives us a temporary b…