Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Stress is supposedly one of the worst ways we as human beings can deal with a situation. To get angry, tense, start cursing things that to all intents and purposes can't hear you; (Like the heavy snow when you're wanting to be flying out of the country!!!). We've heard the warnings time and time again, that stress can cause premature wrinkles, grey hair and even premature death.
But can we really control an emotion that has been with us since we first invented the wheel?
Fright flight or fight. A tongue twister that incorporates what those little neurons in our brain buzz to us when we are faced with an unpleasant situation.
We either stick our heads in the sand so to speak and ignore what's happened; for a caveman this would be the equivalent of curling up in a ball if suddenly faced with a tiger. Secondly we have the choice of flight. A reaction which entails turning your back on a situation and leaving it as best you can; running as far away as you can from that tiger and pray it doesn't catch up. Lastly, there is fight. The response we all like to imagine we'd do. Face the predator down with our spear and fight to the death-a risky move nonetheless but a bold one with at least a small chance of success.
The fright flight or fight situation is caused by a rush of adrenaline. This adrenaline either gives you the ability to run slightly faster than usual, freeze on the spot, or fight a little harder than you normally could. In todays terms, this adrenaline is coursing through our veins a lot more than it should due to most peoples tendency to stress out at any available opportunity. Since the adrenaline is not being put to effective good use, it remains seething below the surface. If you think in terms of a students build up to exams, this adrenaline would remain pumping through the body for months at a time. What was once designed to be a help to us, is now a hindrance.
So should we relax and let things take it's course? Stop stressing over situations that are not hungry tigers? I don't think so. If my possibly cancelled flight is my ravenous tiger, than so be it. I just hope I don't run out of adrenaline if the tiger situation were ever to arise.