THE GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME: Developed by Dr. Hans Seyle
The body’s reaction under stress occurs in three major phases: the alarm reaction, the stage of resistance and the stage of exhaustion.
The alarm reaction is the organism’s first response to the application of any stress-provoking agent or stressor. A stressor is anything injurious to the organism, whether physical or emotional
If exposure to the stress-producing situation continues, the alarm reaction is followed by the stage of resistance. Here the organism produces the hormones ACTH and Cortin, which help the body adjust to the stress. The physiological processes disturbed during the alarm reaction now appear to resume normal function. The physical strain is still there, but, because of the hormones, the body has adjusted to a higher level of performance, creating the illusion of feeling better.
If exposure to the injurious stressor continues too long, a point is reached where the organism can no longer maintain its resistance. It thereupon enters the final phase of changes related to stress — the stage of exhaustion. The anterior pituitary and adrenal cortex are unable to continue secreting their hormones at the increased rate, with the result that the organism can no longer adapt to the continuing stress. If the stressor continues to act upon the organism, a nervous breakdown or even death can soon occur.
LESSONS IN FUTILITY ( How to kill your happy cells)
Everyday, you experience frustrating situations that are beyond your control. These stress-provoking incidences act to erode your patience as well as frustrate and anger you. Not only do you experience emotional stress, but physical as well. You are responsible for this conflict, because you allowed these events to get the better of you. Be realistic. If some person wants to cut in front of you on the freeway, or the grocery clerk is as slow as a snail, what can you really do about it? Nothing. So why get uptight and kill your happy cells. Use each negative situation to make yourself a better person. When the idiot driver cuts in front of you, back off and give him room. If you feel anger begin to build, relax; then forget it and let your mind drift to pleasant thoughts. How about being in morning or evening traffic, this causes a lot of stress, but how much more stress do you add by thinking about the expected traffic? Whenever you run across a slow grocery clerk or bank teller, make a mental note to avoid that person in the future, and then turn your attention to more important matters. Unless absolutely beyond control, never get mad, upset or uptight at someone else’s stupidity or incompetence or a situation that is real, like traffic problems.
Another area in which we commit emotional suicide is our imagination. How often have we allowed ourselves to get angry, resentful or uptight because of an imagined insult that turned out not to be true. Over 80% of our fears are falsely based, and another 10% are real, but exaggerated, or blown out of proportion. When you get angry, stop and see if is real, or whether you are just letting your emotions get the best of you.
A common frustration, in communicating, is when two people try and convince each other of a thought or belief. In order to reduce the chance of unnecessary stress, a good rule to follow, is to determine if the information is extensional or intentional.
Extensional. That which exists in our external world and can be proven.
Intentional. That which is intangible (a belief) and cannot be proven… religion, politics.
This clarification can help you draw the line in the futility of pursing a discussion, once you know there is conflict in your conversation.
One of the most common areas of unnecessary stress, is watching the news, especially in the morning. Most news reports are based on bad events, not happy events. If any of it upsets you, then you walk out the door, uptight. If you are not going to do anything about it, and it has nothing really to do with you, then why turn happy cells into stressed cells. Watch the news later. Try and start your day with positive thoughts. Deal with problems in your own life, rather then waste energy on things out of your control. Your happy cells will be a lot happier, when you can start to whittle away at those lessons in futility