We all know what stress feels like, but do you know what it does to you?The fight or flight response goes hand-in-hand with a powerful hormonecocktail; norepinephrine and epinephrine, highercortisol and adrenaline, heart palpitations, sweating. Your body is gettingready to run.
As Cariss explained, stress in small doses can motivate and help withour goals or tasks and can even boost memory. So in order to keep the ‘goodstress’ in our lives, she says, we need to keep up with all the things weforget to do when the scales point toward ‘bad stress’, like sleeping well and drinkingenough water. When we are overwhelmed and the stress stays around for weeks ormonths it can lead to fatigue and anxiety; “With bad stress, sometimeswe can't see the wood for the trees – its impact is so present in our lives wedon't notice it.”
“We feel that it's normal to have stress and pressure, whereas actually, you're supposed to go into stress when you're being attacked by a tiger”
Given how stress can make us feel, is it possible to be addicted to it? Whilestress isn’t exactly addictive, Shah explains, we have become desensitised toit: “We feel that it's normal to have stress and pressure, whereas actually,you're supposed to go into stress when you're being attacked by a tiger”.That’s when stress becomes damaging.
And most importantly, try and see if you can figure out when ‘badstress’ kicks in. Cariss says we should look out for issues with concentration,sleep and appetite, getting ill more often, headaches and irritability. Whenthis happens, it’s time to recalibrate.