By Sarah Newman, MA
When we’re anxious our bodies undergo changes to prepare for a fight-or-flight situation. It’s an evolutionary response. Picture the moment a deer hears the snap of a twig nearby. The deer’s heart rate goes up, breathing becomes shallow, and the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released.
Some people recover physically and emotionally much more quickly after a stressful situation — a trait known as resilience. It’s ideal that our bodies return to normal shortly after an anxiety spike. After all, chronic stress hurts our bodies and our minds.
Becoming resilient in the face of stress could be as simple as paying attention to your own bodily responses, according to a recent study published in the journal Biological Psychology.
“Often times we’re worry junkies. We feel anxious before our big presentation, we nail the presentation, and then believe we need that same level of anxiety to fuel our next big project,” explained the study’s lead author Dr. Lori Haase, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.