The Folly of Stressing About Stress

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Photo ©2015 by George Hodan

We all stress out, it’s a normal thing that you shouldn’t be too worried
about. From stress filled situation, heart pounding confessions, or red faced embarrassment, your body’s there to be your right hand man.Stress is a natural reaction to events that are harmful to your safety, your happiness, or your peace of mind. We all have a chemical process called The Flight or Fight response, which is triggered by your body in order to warn you of danger. You start to sweat, adrenaline is pumped into your blood vessels as your blood pressure rises, your heart feels like it’s going to burst from the pressure, and you have two choices: to either run away from the danger, or get ready to duke it out like a real man.

Of course the extra adrenaline would be able to help you in either case, running or fighting, but the flight or fight response can be triggered to normal, everyday real situations, like taking a test that you’re not ready for, greeting a person that you thought was your friend, but was actually someone else, or realizing that you forgot your notebook in your last period – and class has already started, all examples that comes from yours truly, unfortunately.

However, this stress and embarrassment that you encounter everyday is your body’s way of protecting you from making a complete fool of yourself. Just like in the situations above, stressing out and panicking as how those events play out is key to learn ways to avoid stress in the future. In a sense, your body is teaching you how to be productive, to be confident, and to be careful. Failing and stressing over a test will only make you more productive in studying in the future, greeting a stranger as a friend will improve your recognizing and communication skills, and forget your notebook in your last class will force you  to be more organized.

So next time you have a heart pounding moment, a flash of red on your face, or an anxiety attack, follow these steps. Stop, calm down, thank your body for everything it’s done for you, and decide wherever to either take flight or fight.

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