Your body doesn't know the difference between a physical threat or an emotional threat. The stress response is the same.
Stress puts your body into a "fight or flight" state – the one and only goal is survival.
Stress causes increased heart rate, increase blood flow, muscles to tense, decreased digestion, and decreased sex hormone production.
Once the perceived threat is gone, the body is able to return to a normal relaxed state.
The amygdala in the brain is the “Night Watch" on high alert for any and all potential threats.
You know the feeling when you're driving and the person in front of you slams on the brakes and your stomach flies up into your throat and your heart starts pounding out of your chest and you death grip the steering wheel and your foot hits the brakes with full force and you get all hot and shit?
That is the amygdala sounding the alarm - and the crazy part is that you did not have to think about any of it. It just happened.
The bodies stress response is a physiological gift that keeps you alive. The problem becomes when the body is under CHRONIC stress.
Chronic stress impairs sleep, proper digestion, sex drive, mood, recovery, energy levels, and fat loss.
Unfortunately, the brain cannot differentiate between a potential car accident and other forms of stress like financial worry, relationship problems, poor nutrition, over exercising, and… you know… a global pandemic.
While removing stress from your life can be damn near impossible, because, life happens, rather than trying to remove the stress, focus on developing effective coping mechanisms.
Body needs time in the "rest and digest" state so prioritize time for calm and relaxing activities. Try reading, meditating, journaling, low intensity exercise, connecting with friends, or listening to music.
The beauty is that you don't need to devote an entire day to trying to relax, although that would be amazing wouldn’t it???? If you can find 10 or 15 minutes a day to be calm, that can be enough to help your body effectively cope with chronic stress and mitigate the impact of the bodies physiological stress response.