5 Not-So-Obvious Triggers of Stress No One Can Afford to Ignore Any Longer
By Penny Rosina
“Fight or flight” response is simply how your body responds to stressful situations, more specifically to perceived threats or danger. This response is your body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares your body to “fight” or “flee” from a perceived attack, from harm or from a threat to our survival.
As you might imagine, it is more commonly experienced by people such as military personnel people or firemen – people who routinely put their lives in jeopardy.
When the fight or flight response is triggered, over 1,400 different physiological and biochemical changes occur in your body. But there are also psychological effects that are making you more alert, aggressive, angry or fearful, which all work together to motivate you when you are physically threatened.
First, increased activity occurs in your body:
- Your heart beats quicker and harder – coronary arteries dilate.
- Blood pressure rises.
- Lungs take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide.
- Liver releases extra sugar for energy.
- Muscles tense for action.
- Sweating increases to speed heat loss.
- Adrenal glands release adrenaline to fuel response.
Decreased activity will occur in your body as well:
- Digestion slows down or stops – stomach and small intestines reduce activity. You might feel sick, or be sick.
- Mouth goes dry – constriction of blood vessels in salivary glands.
- Kidney, large intestine and bladder slow down. You often may feel you want to go to the toilet: this is your body’s way of “lightening the load.”
- Immune responses decrease.
Here are 5 things you may not be aware of that can trigger the fight or flight response:
1. Childhood Traumas – If you suffered any type of physical or emotional abuse as a child, certain scents, places or smells buried in your subconscious can trigger a fight or flight reaction. And you may not even be aware this is happening. Even if you received counseling, these triggers can rear their ugly heads later on in your adult life.
2. Destructive Relationships – If you are feeling threatened in a relationship – physically OR emotionally – your body interprets this as danger and will respond accordingly.
3. Hunger – If you are feeling hungry, the message you are sending to your body is “Help! There’s not enough food!” You may be hungry because you are watching your weight while your pantry is filled with food. But your BODY doesn’t know the difference. This puts you in a stress response.
4. All Work And No Play – If your job is stressful and you neglect to take time for yourself to unwind, this will eventually put you into a fight or flight response.
5. Worry – If you find yourself in a constant state of worry or anxiety or always thinking negative thoughts, this is certain to create a stressful situation to which your body will respond to sooner or later.
But there is HOPE for breaking this cycle! Being AWARE of your triggers is the first step! Train yourself to stop, take some deep breaths and relax any tense muscles.
The BEST way to turn down the activity of your fight or flight response is by physical exercise. When you exercise, you metabolize excessive stress hormones—restoring your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. If you are feeling stressed, call a friend and go for a walk outdoors in nature. It’s the best gift you can give your mind and body!
Penny Rosina is a Certified Fitlife.tv Transformation Coach, as well as a published author, photographer, Reiki Master and former healthcare systems consultant.Compassionate to the core, she has been exactly where you are and now dedicates her time and energy to finding the right plan to help you on your journey to a healthy and fit life.
Penny prides herself on being attentive to her clients' needs, while helping them to develop the necessary nutrition and mindset changes required to take them to a healthier lifestyle.
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