- by Dr Gowher Yusuf
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- Jan 27 2017
Teens: How do you learn to cope up your anxiety? Activity 2
Source: The Anxiety Workbook for Teens by Lisa M, SCHAB, LCSW.
Our bodies respond to anxious thoughts by emitting stress hormones. This built – in biological reaction is called the fight or flight response.
In prehistoric times, humans faced challenges different from those they face today. For example, a common challenge for prehistoric man may have been to walk outside his cave in the morning and finds himself face to face with a huge, hungry lion.
Human bodies are miraculous creations that are programmed to survive. When confronted with a threat such as lion, the brain would send the signal, “threats!” and the body would respond by shooting hormones, such as adrenaline, into the bloodstream at lightning speed. That made the body immediately stronger and faster so the human could either wrestle the lion (fight) or run away very fast (flight). When humans either fought or ran away, the physical exertion would disperse the hormones, and the body chemistry would quickly return to normal.
In today’s world our bodies still release stress hormones when we are faced with a threat. The chemical raises our blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse; slows our digestion; dilates our pupils; and causes us to breathe more shallowly. While these changes prepare us for fast action, we don’t usually take it, so our hormones don’t disperse. You may become anxious when you look at the history test your teacher has just handed you and realize you don’t know any of the answers, but you are not likely to respond by fighting with your history teacher or running from the classroom. As you sit at your desk “stewing”, the anxiety just continues to build. Built up anxiety makes us vulnerable to emotional and physical problems. To stay healthy, we have to find ways to avoid or disperse those chemical.
1. Look at your picture of daily challenges. Write them in the order of how anxious they make you feel. Write those that make you feel most anxious first and those that make you feel least anxious last.
2. Describe the physical symptoms you experience when you feel anxious about any of these things.
3. Our bodies emit flight or fight response chemicals whether the threat we perceive is internal, external, real or imagined. Which challenges in your picture are:
Internal? External? Real? Imagined?
4. Do you react by physically fighting or physically running away from any of these threats?
5. Describe how you react if you don’t fight or run away.
6. Describe any realistic ideas you have about you could release the build-up of stress hormones from your body.
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