Whatever its cause, the hard-wired response to stress is the “fight or flight” reflex response.
An appropriate response if you’re in the jungle fighting a tiger. But tigers can come in many different shapes and forms; such as the person who cuts you off in traffic or pushes in front of you in a queue or the person who doesn’t turn their mobile off and answers it during a meeting.
Stress can also be created by long-term anxiety about job performance, it needs to be done yesterday, skipping lunch or getting through the day on a couple coffees and a donut. These days, for many people, there’s no respite – no time for your body to replenish itself. This can result in a higher incidence of minor illnesses, such as colds and flu, and may create vulnerability to more serious problems.
But stress is not always the enemy.
High-achieving people require a healthy amount of stress to help them push forward and achieve their goals. Different people deal with stress in different ways depending on their personal experiences and their level of emotional resilience.
It often takes disruption, sometimes an unpleasant event, such as a health scare, a ‘near miss’ relating to someone close to us, the loss of a close friend or the end of a critical relationship to get us to change our lifestyle.
In some cases, even this is not enough. You know you need to change but you don’t why? Our brain is not all that comfortable with change. When you deviate from a habit or from what is normal for you, the survival part of the brain feels unsettled because it interprets the change as potential danger. As a result, people are motivated to continue with what is familiar and easy even if it isn’t good for them.
It can help if the change is emotionally as well as logically compelling.
Emotions are far more powerful motivators than ‘shoulds’. For instance, feeling excited about getting into better shape is far more powerful than dreading giving up something like alcohol or starting to exercise. You need to make a firm decision as to what you want to achieve, be committed to that decision and have the courage to deal with some of the initial discomfort.
Want help to fight your tigers? Call us NOW on 0407 585 497.