Aug 05

I have been asked many times to help people make a distinction between what is healthy and helpful fear versus unhealthy and unhelpful anxiety. The difference between them can be difficult to distinguish at times. One reason for this is because they have the same physiological effects. Healthy fear and unhealthy anxiety both activate our Sympathetic Nervous System which activates the Fight or Flight Syndrome in order to charge us up and prepare us to act (to either run away from or to attack the threat). The clear differences between the two exist in their reaction to compliance and their impact on your life. Continue reading »

Jul 09

In a previous post I discussed the relationship between one’s view of themselves in reference to the threat or stressor that they face. Seeing yourself as small and the threat as big produces a sense of inadequacy and anxiety (often called stress). Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways of shifting that view of one’s self, and/or that view of the threat, in order to feel more confident and prepared (and hence less stress). Continue reading »

Jun 27

Our minds and bodies crave balance. When we have the proper amounts of both rest and activity, we function closer to our optimum level. Needless to say, when we experience too much activity (particularly the unhealthy, stressful type) and not enough rest, we function at a much lower level than is possible. Merriam-Webster describes stress as “a state…of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium,” or in other words stress disrupts our internal state of balance. The quickest way to disrupt one’s sense of relaxation or equilibrium is to introduce a threat. We all face threats in our lives, some real and some imagined. The body’s reaction to a perceived threat has more to do with your perception of the threat and less to do with the objective nature of that threat. When thinking about how we perceive a threat, we must be aware that inherent in our appraisal of the threat is our appraisal of ourselves in comparison to that threat. For example, if you perceive getting into a physical altercation (someone you are dealing with becomes so upset they threaten to hit you) and disappointing others (making people feel bad, having others think poorly of you) as the same level of threat, and you see yourself as being unable to handle both threats, your body will have the same “Fight or Flight” reaction (activation of your Sympathetic Nervous System) leading to prolonged stress. Continue reading »

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