Last week, I talked about Type One stress. If you haven’t read last week’s blog yet, I encourage you to do so before reading this week’s. It will be much more understandable and flow more easily.
As I mentioned before, Type Two (or long-term) stress occurs when the source of your stress is unclear, not immediate and sometimes not even recognizable. Although when you experience Type Two stress you’re not responding to an immediate, identifiable threat, your body reacts as if you were because it can’t distinguish between potential bodily danger and your ongoing dissatisfaction with your boss’s carping and nagging. What you think is stressful becomes stressful because your body reacts the same way to an immediate danger that it does to the recollection of an insult from two weeks ago.
This response is quite different from the Type One response (last week).
The Type Two response wears out your body and can literally kill you:
Phase 1 – represents your body’s normal resting heart rate, breathing pattern and other vital signs
Phase 2 – includes a series of peaks and valleys that represent your body’s response to a series of challenges. For example: you work in an office and on Monday morning, go in and face an unexpected deadline. This results in a rapid increase in heart rate, breathing, muscle tension and other vital signs indicated by the first slope of Phase 2. Once that challenge has been addressed, you get a call from your child’s school saying that he/she has gotten in trouble.
Just as you are digesting that information, your boss tells you the work you did was inaccurate and needs to be redone. These stressful experiences continue to occur throughout your day. Multiple challenges like these result in a series of peaks during which your vital signs stay elevated for an hour, several hours or the entire day.
Phase 3 – occurs after the challenges have been met. Stress begins to decline, the body relaxes, and all vital signs begin to return to normal. However, your body is depleted by the sustained stress response. Symptoms of this phase might include exhaustion and/or the “four o’clock slump.” These indications of fatigue are more noticeable after the stress response is over and you have time to reflect on the day and its demands.
Phase 4 – your body’s vital signs dip below their normal level to compensate for the many demands placed on your body in Phase 2. You might experience symptoms such as weak muscles (due to a depletion of energy stores in muscle tissue), disorientation (due to a slowing of brain wave activity as the brain compensates for the demands of the stress response), or a “let down” feeling (due to reduced blood sugar levels and mental fatigue).
Finally, your body returns to its normal state in Phase 5.
Your body’s normal response to challenges can be destructive when those challenges are experienced over a long period of time – hours, days, weeks or even months. The longer this negative response goes on, the more severe your symptoms of distress will be.
Next Tuesday (April 24th), I’ll be talking about
“The Optimal Performance Zone”
The state of balance and effectiveness that people have the capacity to create when they deal successfully with their Type Two stress.
I’m a Problem Solver!
I want my clients to live the life they are meant to live and be happy, healthy and successful. I became a certified lifestyle/business coach. Now I not only organize, but also coach and provide programs that solve people’s problems!
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