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|11-17-2003, 07:39 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Flight or Fight
I just realized I'm experiencing stress related flight or fight symptoms so I thought I'd post about it. When I have stress in my life I go into flight mode. I become isolated, break contact with friends, avoid people because I feel mean, noise irritates me and startles me. My muscles tense up ready for the stress to the point that they hurt so bad I can hardly move. I was thinking about all this today and I really think that any kind of stress sends me into flight or fight mode. This is what stress triggers in me. I think it's because the stress in my past was considered life threatening and I responded in this way. Now the triggers of stress cause the same reaction. The hardest part for me is finding away to relax my muscles. Most of the muscle spasms happen when I'm sleeping. I have no control over it. I need to practice changing my reaction. I just don't know how. It is a trigger reaction.
There are basically two types of stress, acute and chronic.
The body responds to stressful situations by activating what is known as the flight-or-fight response. When faced with perceived danger our body prepares either to fight that danger or to run from it. The metabolism speeds up, the heart beats faster, the rate of breathing increases, the muscles contract, the digestive system begins to shut down and your blood will clot faster.
These responses have evolved over millions of years to help us survive danger. A good example of the flight or fight response working at it's best is if you are crossing the road and you notice a speeding car approaching - you quickly run out of harms way. After the danger has past, your heartbeat should return to normal within a few minutes. This is acute stress.
Unfortunately, the same mechanism can also lead to chronic stress. If you are constantly exposed to stressful situations throughout the day (even low level stress) your body does not have enough time between them to return to normal and the very mechanism that is designed to protect us can become harmful. Your arteries may remain constricted, with a consequent increase in blood pressure and blood clots are more likely to form in your coronary arteries. Additionally certain hormones are released into the blood stream when you are under stress such as cortisol and adrenaline which cause artery blockages to build up more quickly and impair your immune system.
Of course it's virtually impossible to avoid stressful situations with the ever increasing pace of modern life, but one key element to improve your health is the ability to respond to stress quickly and efficiently and then be able to relax afterwards to get your body responses back to normal.
In the modern world the ability to manage stress is vital not only to reduce your risk of heart disease, but also to make you happier.
|11-17-2003, 07:41 PM||#2 (permalink)|
There's really no way to avoid stress, things will happen to you beyond your control which cause stress and you have to cope with it.
As previously mentioned stress which calls for immediate action (acute stress) is relatively easy to cope with and seldom causes a long term build up of tension. From this we can see that you will reduce your stress levels if you don't let problems build up, simply deal with problems as they emerge before they can turn into a long term ongoing problem (chronic stress). A good example of this is if someone has debt problems, don't wait and hope the problem will go away, negotiate with your creditors and reach agreement. Better still plan your finances in advance and then you won't overspend in the first place.
The more control you have over your life and your environment, the less likely it is for stress to build up and injure your health. So try to plan your time. A good way of doing this is to keep a diary to set time aside for things you want to do, schedule your meetings and appointments so you'll never be late - rushing around and getting stressed in the process. A good idea is to use a diary to make lists of your tasks for the day and tick them off as they are achieved.
More people live on there own these days than ever before in our history.
The breakdown of marriages has had a catastrophic effect on the social fabric of our society and so too, for different reasons has technological innovation which means we can communicate at long range with no social contact.
Studies have shown that people who live alone have a higher incidence of heart disease and premature mortality than those who live with someone. It seems that humans evolved to live in social groups and not alone. (Even having a pet will help).
Also, being able to talk over your problems with a close friend or relative will help reduce stress, even if you can't find a solution to the problem you will feel better for having "got it off your chest".
To combat loneliness try to socialise in a non competitive way, join a club, go to church, do charity work for example.
It's not just those living alone who would benefit from a better social life of course, it's surprising how many people fail to interact with those around them, which brings us another point: it's the quality of your social life that counts not the number of people involved.
One key element in stress management is to be able to relax after a stressful situation to get your body responses back to normal. The following relaxation technique takes only around ten minutes and can be done anywhere: it works - try it.
1. Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor.
2. Rest your fingers on your stomach and close your eyes.
3. Slowly breathe in and out so your stomach gently rises and falls.
4. Relax all your muscles.
5. Visualise relaxation and keep saying relax to yourself.
6. Repeat the sequence.
If you find it difficult to relax your muscles try tensing up each group of muscles in turn and then relaxing them. You may find it easier at first by lying down rather than sitting in a chair.
An excellent way of relieving stress and it will also help those who suffer from depression. Aerobic exercise in particular will reduce the levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream and help you relax. In this we see yet another example of how the various lifestyle changes work in harmony with one another, further proof if it was needed, of how much better it is to make comprehensive lifestyle changes rather than just one or two.
|11-17-2003, 08:12 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Big kitty nose hugs
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Center of The World
I react to stress in the same way. Alot of days, I have a large amount of stress to deal with. My hiding place for my feelings has been gone for some time now. When I first realised that I had been stuffing life threatening things in my life, I panicked when I had no where to put something. I was like a chicken running around with a worm in my mouth, not knowing where to take it to.
I get a feeling of impending doom sometimes, when I am handling alot of correspondence with officials about my grand kids. Like I just know that something awful is comming, just a matter of time. Which, the adoption may be final in december.
I have already read the things that you posted earlier and have done the tests. I will need to re-read them more than once.
While doing this, I realised that I do pull away, immediately at the first sign of pain. But what I did not understand is that when we do this, we remove ourselves from loved ones. And then I would always feel so very lonesome, and that I was not cared for or loved. That's very messed up thinking!
I loved to hide in closets and the woods. I was the invisible one.
I want to work on this very badly. It would be so very nice to be able to pull loved ones toward me rather than push them away.
Love In Spirit,
Where my heart is.......
"Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Give In,
Never, Never, Never."
~~Sir Winston Churchill~~
|11-17-2003, 08:56 PM||#4 (permalink)|
It's a tough one to work on. I think it has to be a combination of things we do when we are triggered with the stress. I think we need to learn to catch it early before we get too bad. Once it's in full swing it's really hard to pull out of it.
Catching it early and exercising, relaxing, self talk, hot baths, breaks from thinking about it!!!! I think that's where I get in real trouble. I won't put it down until it's perfect!!!
I think you also have real grief you are experiencing right now and depression will cause us to isolate too. The holiday is going to be tough for you this year. We will all be here for you.
We need to figure out how to turn it off and take breaks.
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