- Blood pressure rises
- Breathing becomes more rapid
- Digestive system slows down
- Heart rate (pulse) rises
- Immune system goes down
- Muscles become tense
- We do not sleep (heightened state of alertness)
Most of us have varying interpretations of what stress is about and what matters.
Some if us focus on what happens to us, such as breaking a bone or getting a promotion, while others think more about the event itself. What really matters are our thoughts about the situation in which we find ourselves.
We are continuously sizing up situations that confront us in life. We assess each situation, deciding whether something is a threat, how we can deal with it and what resources we can use. If we conclude that the required resources needed. effectively deal with the situation are beyond what we have available, we say the situation is stressful – and we react with a classical stress response. On the other hand, if we decide our available resources and skill are more than enough to deal with a situation, it is not seen as stressful to us.
The key to managing stress is being aware of your choices and making the right ones.
You cannot control all the events that bring stress to your life, but you can choose healthy ways to respond to them. You can learn to connect with your inner strength and to care for yourself in ways that prevent stress and that neutralize the negative effects of stress that could not be avoided.
Managing stress well consists in recognizing at any moment and in any situation that you do have a choice. You can respond to adversity like a reptile (snapping, running, or freezing), or you can respond creatively and humanely in a way that works for yourself and those around you. Using the intelligence of your heart and humor can ensure that you will respond in the latter manner. Stress management is the art of learning to manage your inner world. The results help make a better world.