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Stress Response

Our stress response deals with the physiological and psychological reaction to a perceived threat. While we all have different ways of responding to stress and some of us seem more successful than others, there are general trends we can identify.

Some stressors result in knee-jerk reactions [think about jump-scares] while others we can, with practice, choose how to respond rather than just react. The keys to appropriate stress responses lie in identification, action, and recovery.

By reflecting on your own habits and strategies, you can identify your default settings by being mindful and make some positive changes toward improving your stress response. Most importantly, we want to try to avoid or minimise the long-term problems associated with ongoing stress responses which are described more below.

Stress Responses in a Nutshell

Fight – An individual response to tackle a threat head-on. [Adrenaline and Cortisol]

Flight – An individual adrenaline-fuelled response to avoid a threat. [Adrenaline and Cortisol]

Tend – A social response to nurture or protect others when threatened. [Oxytocin and Cortisol]

Befriend – A social response to build or maintain a group/team to deal with the threat. [Oxytocin and Cortisol]

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