Stress: perceiving threats and the physiological response

Our physiological response to a threat is an essential reaction to enhance performance and in its purest form ensures survival. However, to the body a stress is a stress regardless of whether it is a legitimate threat or merely a perceived threat grown in our mind. In fact the simple perception of a potential threat creates a cascade effect within the body which triggers multiple physiological reactions to counter the perceived threat. This can be beneficial in some situations as it prepares us for action, readying the body both physically and psychologically.

However, a problem arises when we are constantly perceiving threats or stressors, which can be as simple as work, financial or relationship problems.┬áHere we are constantly in a sympathetic state and readying the body to respond. This is an extremely taxing state to be in and isn’t meant to be our default norm. We need to recover, rest and enter a parasympathetic state to enhance health. Otherwise our body will constantly respond physiologically like we are in danger, with this producing negative consequences over both the short and long term.

This is why our perception and responses to a situation is so integral to our health. For this reason, I recommend all my personal training clients to utilise breathing techniques and the meditation app Headpsace. As I’m based out of Fitness First Bond Street, many of my clients come from high pressure jobs which makes stress control even more important for optimal function and a physique transformation.

Control the mind or the body will suffer…