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6 Ways to calm YOUR fight or flight response these holidays

anxiety calm emotions holidays Dec 12, 2021

If the thought of social get-togethers leave you feeling anxious, then you need to learn how fight or flight works in your body, so you can calm your fight or flight response when you’re with others.

 

These holidays you may be catching up on socializing, and you may even be celebrating the holidays in large groups. The prospect of this can be daunting and for many this can be overwhelming, especially if you are out of practice meeting in big groups, or if you prefer smaller groups and lots of quiet time. If this, is you, then you may already be familiar with the fight or flight response—a catch-all term for how humans and many other animals respond to threat. However, you may be less familiar with how this natural response becomes less helpful when activated too often.

 

In this blog, I’ll discuss how the fight or flight response is an evolutionary adaptation that helps us deal with immediate threats, and how it is not best suited to present-day...

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Why most defence mechanisms fail

In psychoanalytic theory, a defence mechanism is an unconscious psychological process that occurs to protect a person from anxiety-producing thoughts and feelings related to internal conflicts and outer stressors. The goal of these defence mechanisms is to separate the person from the unpleasant events, actions, or thoughts. They help people to distance themselves from threats or unwanted feelings, such as guilt, anger or shame.

 

Defence mechanisms are a natural way of being for humans and other animals. For example, sea slugs (main pic) squirt out their own intestines to make a veiled escape. Birds like peacocks and turkeys ruffle their feathers. Small animals like bugs and frogs carry poisons and colours on their backs to scare away predators—or punish stubborn ones. When it comes to people, unconscious patterns of behaviour provide protection against perceived threats. Unfortunately they also have the impact of separating us, when all we want is to connect in the...

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Sleep Panic Attacks are real

Do you get Sleep Panic Attacks?

Many clients who come to see me to improve their sleep, share they regularly suffer from what I call sleep panic attacks. A panic attack is when you experience a sudden intense feeling of anxiety accompanied by a feeling of impending doom and frightening physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, or nausea. A sleep panic attack is when you experience an intense fear that you aren’t going to be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep when it’s time to and these thoughts spiral out of control as the day progresses. Sadly, they also become the self-fulfilling prophecy for many. There is no specific trigger for it except there is a history of poor sleep, so the prospect of a bad night’s sleep is somewhat real.

 

Poor sleep affects 1 in 3 people and if this isn't you, then it’s possible you know someone who suffers sleep panic attacks. It is challenging for these people to sustain new intimate...

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The calming effect of nature

As humans we have become less connected to nature and as a result risk losing our essential health buffer.

When you have a busy work week and a family to care of, any opportunity to take care of yourself is precious. One of the easiest ways to do this is to step out into nature and let it do the rest.

 

How it works

When something happens and we perceive it as a threat, or we are asked to do more than we perceive we're capable of then we experience stress, i.e. a mismatch between what we can and have been asked to do. Once we have this thought our sympathetic nervous system, the ‘fight or flight’ branch of our autonomic nervous system, is activated. When we experience nature, our parasympathetic nervous system is activated, ‘the rest and digest’ branch of the autonomic nervous system, and its activation counteracts the already activated sympathetic nervous system. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated more than our sympathetic nervous...

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7 Myths of alcohol

The drinking of alcohol is widespread within Australia and it is linked to many work, social and cultural activities. Perhaps surprisingly, 1 in 4 people have consumed alcohol at levels placing them at risk of harm on a single occasion, at least monthly, within the last year.

Myth 1: Alcohol makes it easier for people to socialise.

Alcohol in small quantities can make people feel more relaxed and sociable. However, it is a depressant so drinking too much of it can make people want to withdraw from others. Alternatively, drinking too much alcohol can make people feel aggressive and want to act out on their aggression which can lead to serious consequences.

Myth 2: Drinking alcohol is fun.

In small quantities alcohol can make you feel like you are having lots of fun however too much alcohol makes people feel depressed or sad. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to people feeling sick or vomiting. Some may even experience an ‘alcoholic blackout’ where they have no memory...

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