We often don’t realize how our bodies physically interpret the stress we feel. It may be easier to accept that a physical response is due to a physical cause. For example, you stub your toe, you scream out in pain. But think of this. You hear something embarrassing or something that makes you angry. The message is heard and interpreted by you according to the way you’ve learned to think, feel and act. As a result, you turn beet red or blush! If you’re nervous about something, you may feel “butterflies” or your hands may get clammy. If you’re angry you may feel “your blood boil”, you may have a “sour stomach” or you may feel heat coming off of you.
All of these examples are physical reactions to emotions. The message was heard, interpreted, chemicals were secreted and you had a physical reaction to the message. That’s just one incidence!
Now imagine the stress of trying to be a good employer or coworker, partner, parent, friend or neighbor. Add the need to be perfect, liked, approved, admired and respected. Mix it with the stress, strain and anxiety of past hurts, grievances and negative feelings stemming from an outlook or perspective that doesn’t serve you well. What have you got? A recipe for stress related conditions, illness and disease.
While this may seem frightening, the beauty is you are in a wonderful position to stop the stress response. Remember, your stress may not change. What can change however is the way you choose to react to it.