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Published on February 13, 2014

The Cycle of Stress

February 13, 2014

stressWhile the stress response is involuntary, your body’s relaxation response is under your control.

When your brain perceives a threat, your stress response prepares your body to fight, take flight, or freeze. This reflex helped our ancestors survive, but today, the stress response is often triggered by non-emergencies. Persistent stress can cause people to become depressed or turn to overeating or other negative behaviors for comfort.   

Fight

If you get angry or tense when stressed, trigger your relaxation response with a calming activity such as listening to soothing music.

Flight

If stress makes you want to run away, “escape” by taking a walk, visualizing your favorite place, or looking at photos of your family.

Freeze

If you are paralyzed by stress, concentrate on one spot, breathe deeply, and tell yourself there is no real danger. Then clap your hands to get moving again. 

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