What Exactly Is Stress?


Stress is Optional


Lesson Info

What Exactly Is Stress?

So what stress my sense is it's a busy all you know, it's? A certain physiology were obviously were some things he's uh, I guess the breath is at a certain rate, and I would soon certain kind of chemicals were in your body, but also probably if you do brain waves there's a certain thing with your perceptions in your mind. Yeah, and the end your simon jumping way into the physiology zonda, we're going to get through that because that's that's true, that is your reactions that's your physiological reaction to a thought process and we do this to ourselves all day long. We have this concept in our minds that stress is something that happens to us, and this is the way that it is discussed in our world the way we talk about stress, where in conversations, it's quite often, I'm so stressed I have a bad boss, something is happening to us, but this is actually a myth that's a stress or you're you're boss, maybe a stress or somebody who's presenting a challenge to you, but the stress is your phy...

sical and mental reaction to what you perceive is happening and that's a really important part of the sentence it's your reaction to what you perceive is happening now if you're in a burning building, you don't need to perceive it it's happening it's there's some physical things that happened to us but the majority of what we're talking about really does depend on perception so whenever our perception doesn't meet our expectations we feel stressed I expected those words to look different on that pages I type them out so I feel stressed they aren't perfect but it has to do with expectation and perception and sometimes we need to tease down to what our expectations are because they're totally unrealistic so we've set ourselves up to be stressed we're also stressed whenever our balance is off and by that I mean our our biological balance if our blood sugar's low, our bodies feel stress were designed to keep balance or what they call in biology homing a stasis we're beautiful beautiful organisms that self heal that adapt when we give ourselves the space to do that and we really haven't been doing that lately so this is really a key point stress is our reaction to what's happening and that's where we get our control that's where we have this ability to step in and do something about it so what I'm going to present as I present the science of that I want to you to know I have degree after my name this isn't rocket science this is good I'll talk about a chemical but this is wisdom this's the wisdom you already know I'm not going to teach you anything in these days that somewhere deep inside of you you don't know but I'm hopefully bringing your awareness and your ability to use it back so that you've got that power back and what I've loved about current science that's doing a lot more mind body work is it's proving this wisdom isn't it cool when science proves wisdom something we kind of knew and science comes along as you know as a matter of fact your mind in your body are connected cool so this is a model I've come up with because as I said earlier our brains like models we like to fit things into what we've already learned way start with rudimentary learning and then we fit the details in so our brains do well with a model so your brain has this huge job out there it's job is to keep you safe your brain is monitoring it's it's one hundred billion cells sitting between years monitoring to see if you are safe and it's taking in billions of bits of information all day long those bits of information coming from the outside world what's the temperature is that car going to hit me? Those information come from the inside world I shouldn't have eaten gluten I am hot all of those different things are are coming in, they're filtered through your brain and your perception and there's a little air in there called the image a little red spot that labels whether something is dangerous to you or not and that's huge is this dangerous if it's dangerous and the label is gets that it's dangerous stamp then it's going to start changing your focus it's going to start your emotions shifting in a different direction and they're going to be all these physical changes that we've been talking about your guts going to shut down your mind's going to speed up all these different things are gonna happen and when we trigger this danger motion over and over and over and over and over again day in and day out we start compromising the normal performance that should be there the normal repairing an adaptive behaviors that our bodies are programmed for get compromised when we're spending all over time reacting to danger does that make sense since it's actually not a bad system it's amazing system has kept us safe the tiger came we were in it's good so this is this is breaking it down a little bit say there's ah skinny long object in the room and this is sort of interesting we have a negative bias as we see that skinny long object to assume it's a snake now does that sound like a good thing that we're negatively biased? It is a good thing because it is far more important for us to assume that that's a snake then it's a snake and we assume it's a stick which person was gonna live in the history of evolution the person you thought I think I'm going to air on the side of snake and get out of here the person who aired on the side of stick his lineage fell off or her lineage fell off so we see this object that we think is a snake that vision goes to the back of my brain to the visual cortex and then immediately because we're programmed for that image a rudimentary version of long skinny thing we're programmed to send that information to the magdala the mig delight says oh yeah we got snake issues here we're going to start the stress reaction it so it sounds the danger alarm and it does all of these different things it dilates our pupils well why would it do that so I can see better I need to see right now I need to see where I'm going and you just see what that isthe it increases our hearing and you know how your dog or cat cocks their ears towards you when they hear something we actually do that on the inside we have teeny tiny little muscles that kind of rotate inside so that we can hear better luckily we don't take her some of us are larger years ago and listen our heart rate speeds up the same thing people noticed when they were doing the visualization of something that's stressful are clotting increases well why would that be important? Because if we got bitten we want a clot off as fast as possible. You see any relationship there? Two heart attacks that occur after a stressful situation or strokes were your clotting is up your respiratory weight increases you need a bunch of oxygen right then don't you and it's going to turn off your gut that's why you get that weird feeling in your gut? Now is not the time to be digesting that salami sandwich it's just not it's your body has another priority and that's what this is about this is about setting priorities to respond to danger your adrenal glands start to release something called cortisol first comes out adrenaline adrenaline is the thing of our sympathetic nervous system that lets grandma pick up the car off of the baby and then grandma starts shaking has no idea how she did it. You we've all seen this weird news stories that's that rush of adrenaline from which you usually crash big time then comes court is off from your adrenal glands and cortisol revs up your whole system initially to make you stronger and this is really a key point for thinking about the bring from the frontal personal baby brian from the frontal lobe of the brain up here the blood is rerouted to your legs so why would that be? You can just move and get out of there right, you probably should run you really probably should run so this whole system is prioritized to get away from danger and when this system is triggered, all the other systems have to give up what they were doing. So if you kind of think about that, it explains a lot about how we are when we're stressed I uh used have a slide here of the double face plant though that came from star trek it's like the o why did I do that? Because you weren't thinking and you're not supposed to be thinking now is not the time to be able to do with excel spreadsheet now is not the time to say you know, I think that's the eastern rattle snake no get out of there get gone and that's what the stress reactions for we basically have two states we have our away state this is something dangerous this person is toxic this email is toxic, we have a retreat state from remember back in grade school they show you the pictures of the amoeba and then mabel would go towards something or the people go blue, blue, blue away from something we're not that different we're going, we're deciding all day long if something should be a toward or in a way it's a lot like thumbs up in it or thumbs danning it we've you know we've got sort of a facebook sign going on here which I just did backwards so inner away state we're closed, we're clinched were tight we're not creative in that state because we're closed down we don't have access to our full brain were very reactive we might learn something immediately I mean, there is crisis learning that occurs and dad's gonna short circuit to your memory that if you're bitten by something you probably you're not going back toward that thing again that's important memory but other than that our learning in our memory isn't good in this state as opposed to when we're in an open state and we're curious and we're learning new things and we can process it into memory were much more positively biased and that's a much healthier state to be in so we're humans and were amazing but we are still creatures that have thes two states of being that we flip in and out and we can be in different ones for different things in different times. So when this this reaction is triggered it takes about fourteen hundred chemical reactions that just sounds exhausting doesn't it? Fourteen hundred chemical reactions that's an enormous amount of energy. So when we were talking about balancing energy and we've just spent fourteen hundred chemical reactions on a nasty email that wasn't even really intended for us, we just wasted some energy didn't wait so that's what I liked to keep coming back to that choosing how we spend it instead of spending it on this that sometimes were triggered into this and we didn't have any choice on that's a good thing too that keeps us safe it truly does have you ever wound up in the next lane of traffic because somebody cut you off and it takes a minute to even realize how you got there because you were bopping along thinking about the report you had to give her listening to the radio all of a sudden here in the next lane of traffic um this stuff saves you it's a good good thing and it saves you from the big stuff it's the problem is it's the same reaction if it is that car cutting you off that could have killed you as it is to this now may not be quite as many chemicals but it's the little stuff day in and day out it's like the chinese say death from a thousand paper cuts it's the little stuff constantly draining us that's doing that that's an interesting point you raise their cindy very much was overwhelmed ten is with us today and they're saying they understand the majority of the audience is probably in the work world but they've recently retired and they're finding there just a stress because there are other things that are stressing them as well that don't necessarily go on in the work world right because stress is a trained reaction as well it's an automatic reaction but we've learned to train it, so if you've had years of working and you're doing this, you're probably out there even seeking that rev that comes from it the theodry anal in and the court is all that comes from it but it's very interesting to notice it's not we pin so much of her stress on our situation, and in fact you can change situations completely and it follows you. So I'm so glad you tuned in really glad you tuned in to find some ways to enjoy that retirement that that would be nice, andi and you will, and it will take a while after you retire for some of that revving to settle back down again, it's almost as if somebody's taken away your adrenaline pumping, you seek it at first so it's stress bad. I hope you've heard that is not it saved you and you do need stress for the people who asked before you do need stress to get on task. It is like many things in life. This is one of the few laws from psychology. This is the yorkies dodson curve and like many things in life, it's a bell curve um if you have no challenge, you are bored we've all had a boring job at some point or boring task within her own job. We tend to not do the boring test within our own job or if you're feeling stressed about the really stressful task will go to the boring one to relieve ourselves to come back down the curb but we're bored at this end of the curve we don't have enough challenge, then we start to get stimulated, then we start to get a little more alert and focused a little more creative, so people who are in a creative job do need some challenge doesn't need to be a deadline in a big stressor I know their ways to find that too and find the shades of gray in this you start to get more effective until you get to peak performance. This is where your state of flo would be you've got the challenge is to get through what you need to get through and you feel empowered here because you feel like you've got the ability to cope with what the challenge is so you can get to flow you could get to your coolest state of creativity because you're not sitting there worried that you don't have what you need, you're in it, you're not worrying about it does that make sense? But beyond there when the challenge starts to rise above whether you have the time, the skills the resource is thie authority when the challenge trust to rise above that right row we start to fall down the curve and at first we lose our efficiency I was super tired the other night and I was trying to type up something and I just kept making typing error after typing area error no I can't be talking I was making all these typing errors and I realize my man I was just mis firing my brain was tired it needs all these neural transmitters and rest and all these things to function and it didn't have what it needed and I was mis firing my efficiency was going down so it took me twice as long to type up this thing is it should have I lost efficiency we get less creative when we're stressed our world narrows when I'm coaching people who are under stress it's it's sort of interesting as as they calm down they begin to be able to brainstorm or about what they can do in the situation when you're not calm when you're freaking out you can't see the solution and you start to lose your concentration and we've all been around somebody who's you know they think they're doing just fine and they're not now remember how the blood went from the frontal lobe down to the legs? Well, one of the jobs of the frontal lobe is to monitor you so you don't know you're in this part of the curve your co workers know you're relationships no your best buddy might know thank you wow you're not really on today are you just had a question coming writing from losing it they're saying they feel they work better when they're under stress but lately they've been dealing with all of these things that you're illustrating here they they computer glitches small things that are beyond their control but they're becoming so irritated but stressed by it that they've become absent minded and they're losing important documents all this they're in exactly this position you're describing right now I love that term absent minded because that's exactly what happened? You just they went absent, it went off line their frontal lobe is and hopefully losing it losing it will change that name by the end of the course gaining gaining its present minded and I just lost my thought in there that know that's that's okay, okay. This efficiency thing is really, really big because we are tendency is to just keep pushing through and that's not what's gonna get us back up the curve so people have learned to become adrenaline and cortisol dependent to get their overtime start to overshoot and you're just not as effective. And I see that all the time in my high achievers I work with, they threw they just feel like you know, if I just give it one more hour I'll be done no, get up, go walk around the building. First of all, we're afraid we're gonna lose our motivation. We're afraid we're gonna lose our focus, and in reality you'll get it back. If you take the breaths, walk away, look out the window at a distance, let your mind settle somewhere else. You can come back up the curve again. So this place is a really hard place to surf at the top, and so we spend a lot of our day doing this, but we want to keep being more aware of when we're coasting off and be able shift ourselves back there to find the thought process is to find the behaviors that will support you, staying closer to that top, where you feel like you have control. So it's a it's, a shifting thing. So one of the problems with this whole stress thing that our bodies dio is it is kind of one size fits all, whether it's the big thing or the little thing.

Class Description

Panic, anxiety, and stress are paralyzing emotions that can stand in the way of the life you want. Freeing yourself from the grip of these toxic thoughts and feelings will give you clarity you can use to make better business and life decisions. Join nationally recognized stress expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill for a course that will give you powerful tools to relieve stress and develop greater emotional resilience.

Everyone has to negotiate difficult life circumstances – financials problems, conflicts, and business challenges are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed. Learn how to manage life’s ups and downs using insights from stress management research and positive psychology and you will bounce back more quickly from life’s inevitable setbacks. In this course, you will develop a framework for evaluating your stress levels and your behavioral responses, and then identify cues you can use to get back on course. Dr. Ackrill will explain the physiological impact of stress and offer techniques for minimizing the disruption it can have on your body and life.

Stress, worry, and anxiety lead to procrastination and burnout, which cause more problems--and more worry. You can stop the cycle. Join us for Stress is Optional and learn an effective, proven approach to relieving stress for good.