Stress Hack: Stop Stress Before it Grabs Hold of You

Recognize The Signs

When you get stressed, your amygdala hijacks the brain into a state of readiness for fighting or fleeing—the fight-or-flight response). This is because the stressors our ancestors faced were more acute and physical (like a prowling lion). When you start to go into “fight-or-flight,” your breathing gets more shallow, your heart beats faster, and your muscles get tense. This response is generally quite rapid and is caused by surges of adrenalin and cortisol coursing through your body. If you practice watching for the first signs of stress (like your shoulders tensing), you can catch the response early in the process, before your brain is completely hijacked.

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