Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger, whether it is real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight-or-freeze” reaction. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life by giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example: spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. However, beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life. It is important to learn how to recognise when your stress levels are out of control because the most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it, it starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it is affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll. The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently.
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