What is stress?
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger, whether it is real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight or flight” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When managed properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life – giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid accident.
The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpen your concentration when you are attempting the game-winning free throw, or drive you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.
But beyond a certain point , stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your career, your relationships, and your quality of life.
The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviors in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently.
The body’s Stress Response
When the body receive a threat, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action.
Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus, preparing you to eight fight or flee from the danger at hand.
Why do we need to know about stress and stress response?
We have to understand what is stress, and what are the body’s stress responses, so that we can analyse cause of stress that affect us and develop strategies and techniques to manage stress properly.