Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates 90% of our body outside of our conscious control, it’s our “operating system”, and it ensures that all of our systems, such as brain, circulation and digestion are regulated and fuelled to perform.
The trouble is, the ANS hasn’t changed for 10,000 years (evolution takes a long time to change) and so is designed for the world of hunting and gathering.
It’s designed to handle a tiger coming out of the forest, for handling short, sharp stresses, and going back to safety. So the body gets a chance to clear out all of the adrenaline and stress hormones, and go back to the normal “baseline” state.
In caveman times it is speculated that we would experience one to two stress events a week! Rather than the hundreds a day that most of us experience nowadays.
Typically in any stressful situation we will respond in one of four ways:
1. Fight – defend ourselves by attacking. Nowadays this usually means getting angry or attacking the person verbally
2. Flight – run away. Either physically by avoiding a meeting or metaphorically by changing the subject.
3. Freeze – hiding. By calling in sick rather than confronting a difficult person, or metaphorically by being lost for words.
4. Fold – capitulate. By giving up.
There are others, but these are the main strategies you will see in yourself and others. #stress #nervoussystem #decisionmaking