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Stress is Happening IN You Far more than TO you By Don Joseph Goewey If you take a close look at stress over the course of a busy week, you’re likely to discover that stress is happening in you far more than to you. It has more to do with the anxious way you relate to people and events than with the events themselves. “We humans generate all sorts of stressful events purely in our heads ... linked to mere thoughts,”1 states Robert Sapolsky, one of the world’s leading stress researchers. It’s the way worried, pessimistic, stress-provoking thoughts ignite upsetting emotions that generate a sense of threat, when a real threat isn’t verifiably present. It’s called psychological stress2 and it can flood your system with adrenaline and cortisol, sending your mind and body into an uproar. If these kinds of stress reactions become chronic, it will gradually wear out your body, depress your mood and could contribute to killing you. And it all begins with the stress provoking thoughts we think. Recall the last time an email caused your mind to race with anxious thoughts, painting you mentally into a tight corner. This tight corner makes the world appear threatening, and we believe the threat our mind imagines is real. But it isn’t real; it’s the mind making up emergencies that the primitive brain assumes must be happening simply because you imagined it. The primitive brain possesses the intelligence of a two-year old3, and when it senses any kind of danger, real or imagined, it sets off a fight, flight, or freeze reaction. For the last 500 years, we’ve been quoting the great French states- Personal Excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 10.2014 Submit your Articles 15


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