Stress resiliency is the ability to move back and forth between sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) fairly easily. You can react when needed (jumping out of the way) and then return to homeostasis quickly and move on. After a traumatic event or with chronic stress, stress resiliency goes down. Essentially events that may not have invoked a response before the event, now do.
Considering the toll these last 15 months have had on us, for the majority of us our stress resiliency is severely compromised. We may feel edgier or testy, more worried or quick to assume the worst is coming. As we begin to re-open rather than feeling relieved this could also jump start some of these feelings. We may also feel more anxious or nervous about being social again. THIS IS NORMAL – It will take some time for our nervous systems to reset.
Be patient with yourself
Be patient with others
Our Immediate Experience when Stress Receptors fire – also known as fight or flight.
•Heart rate increases
•Breath becomes shallow
•Digestion slows or stops
•Urinary system stops
Essentially, we are on guard and ready for action. We want this system to work well to keep us safe, but also prepare us for action in the world, to help get things done.
Our Long Term Experience when we are constantly under stress without reprieve
•High blood pressure/Heart function compromised.
•Lowered breath capacity = poor lung and heart function, poor circulation.
•Digestion is compromised (heart burn, indigestion, IBS, constipation etc..)
•Insomnia and fatigue
•Heightened cortisol, depleted adrenals
•Compromised immune system
Our system is over-taxed and unable to function at optimum vitality. This is where stress can lead to complications in our physical and mental health.
We may not be able to control the stress in our life, but we can learn practices to activate our parasympathetic nervous system – rest and digest. We can improve stress resiliency.
Interested to learn more? I’ve launched a brand new Yoga Therapy series to carry us through the summer months to help teach you exactly that. Wednesdays 5:30pm EDT starting July 7th – you can find more info HERE.