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What’s stress got to do with fighting, fleeing or freezing?

Many of us might have heard of the fight or flight response to stress, but what does it mean?

Fight, freeze or flight is a crucial section of our Stress Awareness Training programme. It explains that stress is not some new-fangled, made-up condition. Stress is, in fact, a state that humans have experienced since the dawn of time. Effectively, being overloaded at work is the modern equivalent to stumbling across a sabre-toothed tiger's den as a caveman!

In the past, physical threats were dealt with by the fight or flight response to help our ancestors survive. Today’s threats are obviously different, but your body doesn’t make any distinction between physical or psychological threats, so negative feelings and everyday hassles also trigger a similar fight or flight response, or as we’ve recently discovered… to simply freeze.

Our body doesn’t know the difference between a physical and a psychological threat, so fight, flight or freeze is also a natural response to hassles like having an argument, sitting in traffic, or trying to get through a mountain of work. This means that any negative emotions like worry, impatience or anger can cause our body to:

  • Increase our heart rate
  • Pump stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol through our system
  • And redirect blood from our digestive system into our muscles and limbs

This can be a good thing as it can help us meet challenges, achieve peak performance and think more clearly. But it can also make you want to run away or even punch the boss (the programme explains that as it's not a great idea to do this!).

Our course also helps explain why a stressed person may be in permanent fight or flight mode and their body will be diverting blood away from their digestive system to the major muscles to prepare for a fight or to run away. This will almost inevitably end up with issues of the digestive system as less nutrients are absorbed.

For more information about the fight or flight aspect of stress have a look at the whole programme - it could be the eye-opener you need! Get started today with a free, no-obligation trial today!

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