Have you ever observed a dog, after hearing a loud noise or fireworks, take cover and then shake when emerging? Possibly, you have encountered a deer in nature and witnessed it standing still (freezing) and then running off to safety. What are these animals doing? They are activating a stress response due to a perceived or actual threat; additionally, once they realize they are safe, they shake or run to release their stored energy and return their body to homeostasis.
We as humans, experience a great amount of stress and many times, unlike our animal friends, we do not take the extra step of releasing it once the stressor is over, thus keeping our nervous system activated. Often, we may not even realize we have absorbed this stress until we start to feel physically sick. Irritability, fatigue, lack of clarity or focus can all be indicators that we are still in survival mode. Learning how to recognize our stressors, the way in which we respond to them (i.e., fight-flight or freeze) and tools to release them is beneficial to regaining balance and stability.
With conscious awareness and practice, we can mitigate the way stress affects us internally, even when the external world may seem overwhelming.
Be Healthy Within Blog
Hi, I'm Carolyn a clinical counselor, art therapist, health coach and mother of four. I am dedicated to promoting mental health awareness, fostering growth mindset and developing connections to self and others. I believe healthy living starts with the individual, which creates a ripple effect for others.