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Chapter 2. All About Stress > Chapter Summary

Chapter Summary

You always need to consider that stress is an inescapable part of modern life. Stress is anything that requires an adaptive response, so all changes (even positive ones) are stressful. The more changes in your life, the more vulnerable you can become to illness, bodily system breakdown, or emotional difficulties. Stress negatively affects your physical, psychological, and occupational functioning in a variety of ways. This is due to a physiological mechanism known as the fight-or-flight response, an ancient survival mechanism that prepares you to deal with physical danger. Although this response is very useful if you are faced with physical danger, it is also triggered by perceived danger. Most of the stressors we face in our modern world are not physical; thus neither fighting nor fleeing is an adaptive response. Yet your body prepares you to do this anyway, and you are left in a state of heightened arousal or tension that, if chronic, begins to take a heavy toll. But just as you have the capacity to harm your body through your reactions to stress, you also have the ability to create dramatic positive outcomes in your life. Your mind and body are profoundly interconnected and interdependent. How you think and what you believe have a profound impact on the state of your health and your ability to cope with stress.


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