Stress. Even the word itself can make your muscles tense up. And you’re not alone.
Dr. Sonia Lupien is a researcher studying stress and has discovered some common triggers and shared some strategies to help manage the stress. She recently spoke at the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Centres (OACRS) Conference and explained how our brains haven’t evolved much since our ancient ancestors. A wooly mammoth running towards them triggered their stress. At this point they had to choose: fight, slay the mammoth and feed their families or run (because there was no way they would win the fight). The response in that moment or the anticipation of that moment was what triggered stress.
Though we don’t have wooly mammoths running at us these days we do have other triggers: IEPs, hectic schedules, work deadlines, traffic, cranky kids, etc. And though we logically know these triggers aren’t going to physically hurt us, our brains respond as though they will.
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