No Fighting Allowed

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Your body is preparing you to act.


Most modern stress comes from... "other people."

In modern society the threats of daily life have taken a different form but they get the same response. Suppose you are at work when your boss comes and says to you, "Look, that report you did last week has a lot of errors in it. You need to correct it immediately before the staff meeting." As your boss walks off down the hallway you may notice several things happening in your body. You may feel the "butterflies in the belly" sensation as your stomach tightens up. The pounding in your chest becomes noticeable, and you feel your muscles tighten. Your body is sending you an important message. Right at this moment your body is saying that the best course of action is for you to either punch out your supervisor on the spot or to just run screaming down the hall, out the door, and all the way home. Your body has prepared you for a fight or flight response.

Unfortunately, neither if these responses is good for your job security. In modern society most of the stressors that create threat are not things that you can actually fight or escape. Most modern stress comes from a variety of psycho/social/emotional events. This means that stress comes from the social context in which we live and the psychological and emotional reactions to that context. It has been estimated that only about 10% or less of modern stress comes from actual physical threat to life. The other 90% comes from the perception of life events. Such sources of stress are financial worries, job conflict, aging parents, children having trouble in school, health problems, crime, and so on. These problems do not easily go away and are hard to fight against. You can’t run away from them and often take them wherever you go.

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