We all experience stress on a daily basis, it is completely natural and that being the case, we can’t stop it, however, we can stop it in its tracks and reduce our stress triggers.

Firstly, lets look at what’s going on in the body.

When we are under pressure or stressed the brain will send a signal to your adrenal gland to produce adrenalin and cortisol.

Adrenalin makes your heart rate and lung capacity increases in order to send more blood and oxygen to your arms and legs so they can react faster in this, fight or flight response.

Cortisol is also released, which s your body with extra energy that is reserved for danger situations, which is of course what the stress response is designed for. Cortisol regulates the blood sugar levels and acts as the bodies’ natural anti-inflammatory.

This natural process is because the brain has a pre-set programme to survive and so it will do everything it can to keep you safe. The brain has no idea if you will be harmed or not, but as we are just animals by nature the only things to cause us harm, when we were living as cave people, would be a predator.

During this response the body produces extra energy that is stored away for such a time as fight or flight, you may feel like you’re full of energy, shaking or feeling a change of temperature?

What happens to our bodies when we are stressed?

If you experience stress multiple times a day then you may feel like you’re losing concentration, feeling tired, perhaps a loss of appetite – The body isn’t interested in the digestion of food during the stress response so digestion is decreased and this is why you may feel sick or want to go to the toilet, sometimes the body may want to evacuate what is in the stomach to make its job of surviving much easier.

Typically chronic stress would lead to weight loss while weight gain would be the result of minor stress.

The brain is not required to be intellectual in an uncomfortable situation so you may feel that you can’t think straight. If a starving lion was sat in front of you licking its lips because it hasn’t eaten in a week, why would you care about your works deadline, shopping, an exam?

What causes stress?

These days, it is the simple things in life that cause stress in a persons life; work targets, driving/traffic, your misbehaving teen, relationships, unexpected bill, exams etc. etc… your brain and central nervous system doesn’t know the difference between real physical harm or a mental or emotional threat to your self, and it’s how you as an individual cope with that response that is critical to understanding how to make improvements and changes.

So if we can experience these situations in the mind then we can change the experience by changing the way you think about things that would cause you stress by using some great techniques like NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Hypnotherapy.


Ed Francis

As an integrative therapist, I use extensive experience and training in effective methods that can help people overcome problems, phobias and issues that create obstacles in a person’s life. These methods include clinical hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), psycho-therapeutic methods, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing), CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Brief Strategic Therapy, Counselling, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

2 Responses to What is Stress – The Stress Response

  1. Steven

    Great post Ed, yes it is really important to try and change stress in different situations.

  2. Piyush Mittal

    Great post ever! This is such a natural process for everyone. Thank you for sharing it.

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