The physical stress response enables us to take flight and flee in the face of danger from a predator. Mostly our threats are not in the guise of a leopard or aggressor but as deadlines and “to do lists”.
Apparently, there are three types of stress; physical when we suffer injury or illness, chemical from toxins we’re exposed to and emotional from our thoughts and how we process events in our lives. I hadn’t thought about stress like that before – I learned this in a Deliciously Ella Podcast with guest Dr Rangan Chatterjee. He also said 70-90% of GP consultations are related to stress. I’d put stress quite high on the list of causes of my bladder cancer and its return but hearing that shifted it higher.
I’ve often wondered why the same event can cause stress for one person and not for another and heard that it’s not the event itself that causes stress but our relationship with it. For example, being asked to work overtime isn’t stressful, it’s the interpretation that causes the stress.
It’s resentment about doing extra work or disappointment about not doing something else.
It’s the self-talk in my head and the conversations about it to the people around me.
It’s how I dwell on it and refuse to let it go.
It’s each time I revisit it in my head and my body experiences the stress response again. And again, and again.
I used to struggle with stress when it began and try and escape it or block it out. I’ve since experienced that it’s easier and more effective to prevent it coming in the first place through meditation and other mindful practices. Meditation reveals the stable and the calm and reminds me that this state is there, and I can return to it whenever I want to just by being present and focusing on the breath.
Link to Podcast: https://play.acast.com/s/deliciouslyellapodcast/dealingwithstress