The Origin of Stress
Stress can be defined as how our body reacts to pressure. Pressure can happen from a variety of external situations. We feel stressed when we experience new things that we are not used to, or when we feel that our physical or psychological well-being is being threatened.
When we encounter stress, our body produces stress hormones that trigger a fight or flight response and activate our immune system. This helps us respond quickly to dangerous situations.1
The origins of stress can be traced back to our ancient ancestors. They experienced stress when they faced life or death experiences (which were a lot back then).
When they were facing an immediate crisis or a major threat like a hungry predator, their brains produced stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Those hormones prepare our bodies to fight the threat or to escape it (which is known as fight or flight response). When we are in the fight or flight response mode, our heart rate increases, blood pressure goes up, our muscles get more tension, and our focus is narrowed down to the threat, and our appetite for food increase (for energy).
Those effects on our body, work perfectly in our favor and enables us to deal with this immediate challenge or threat. The stress increases our abilities to outperform predators in the short run. and in our modern life, stress motivates us to overcome the challenges we face.
So, some kind of stress actually is good for us?
1Mental Health Foundation, 26th March 2021, Accessed 28th March 2021, < https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/stress>
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