The Stress Response

What exactly happens when we get "stressed"?

Hans Selye conducted the very first meaningful research on stress. He didn't intend to research stress...Hans was originally interested in the effects sex hormones have on physical functioning. He was hanging out  with his rats, conducting his sex hormone experiments when he started noticing the stressful implications the interventions were having on his rats. Hans recognized that no matter what intervention he placed upon the rats, their physiological stress response was the same- every time. AND furthermore, this physiological stress response was individualized: each rat had his or her own patterned response to stress.

And guess what? It's true for us as well. No matter what the stressor, we have our own individualized physiological reaction to it. It's the same every time! Your response is different than my response. Some people first feel a stomach tightening, then warm hands, others immediately feel back pain, then feel a hot wave travel down their arms, others have gastrointestinal squeezing... These physiological responses are actually as detailed and individualized as a fingerprint.

Do you know what your pattern is? What happens first, second, third, fourth....? Regardless of how your body reacts to fear, remember, that it is a stress response. This is your body's way of letting you know that you are stressed. It is communicating.