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Understanding the stress response - Harvard Health

Understanding the stress response - Harvard Health

health.harvard.edu

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Understanding The Stress Response

A stressful situation — whether something environmental, or psychological, can trigger a cascade of stress hormones that produce well-orchestrated physiological changes.

This combination of reactions to stress is also known as the "fight-or-flight" response because it evol...

The Stress Response

When someone confronts an oncoming danger, the eyes or ears (or both) send the information to the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing. When it perceives danger, it instantly sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus.

...

The Stress Effect On The Human Body

  • The heart beats faster than normal, pushing blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs.
  • Pulse rate and blood pressure go up.
  • The person undergoing these changes also starts to breathe more rapidly.
  • Sma...

Techniques To Counter Chronic Stress

People can learn techniques to counter the stress response:

  • Relaxation response techniques: deep abdominal breathing, focus on a soothing word (such as peace or calm), visualization of tranquil scenes, repetitive prayer, yoga, and tai chi.

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Temporary stress can induce a short fight or flight response, but chronic stress can cause permanent damage to our heath. As someone who has not been relaxing at all due to the heat of mock exams, university interviews, intense revision plus a never-ending to-do list, I decided to read this article to deter me from pressurising myself and force myself to pause and make a better system for me.

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