It is important to find your stress type. It helps you get more aware of your body, your behavior and how to stop the stress.
You all know the stress types Fight, Flight and freeze. There is another one called Fawn. They all have mild and extreme forms. And there might be more types.
If you were a car you could consider them as gears to drive in that have different advantages and disadvantages dependent of the situation you are in.
If we keep the analogy with the gears, you have also no stress gears: Sleep and peace.
Then there is the alarm gear where the body find out something is happening and in seconds instinctively decide if it is going to use a stress gear or go back to peace gear.
We all have all gears, but happenings in your past might have “learned” your body to go faster to one or two gears.
Now this here I am still investigating, so it is not carved in stone:
Characteristics for each gear
- Alarm: Your senses make you alert. you heard a noise, saw a shadow, touched something. It is pure instinct. Hopefully your body categorized it as “OK” and you go back into the peace gear.
- Fight: You get filled with adrenaline ready to fight for your life and family. Attack the enemy and close the deal. When your surroundings are cleared you go back to peace. But now a days we are taught not to fight. So, the stress is not used and stay for long in our body. Fight is also used if you have a big goal to achieve. You are fighting to reach your goal. You can do a little more and do it better and better. Use a little more time and raise the bar for the quality. Maybe you sacrifice something for this sake. You down prioritize other things and struggles. Spending more and more time on this project and other important things are having smaller and smaller timeslots (family, health, sleep, healthy food).
- Flight: When the alarm gear “decide” that the enemy is too big for you to fight you run, run until you are home in safe surroundings, and then settle back into peace. But now a days it is not OK to run. You are considered a coward and you know from experience, that e.g. you do not run from your manager, or from being the one making the speech at a birthday. The adrenaline is not used in your body and take a long time before it leaves your body. It is found in a light version too. You are running around to do more things in shorter time. I can do one more thing before I stop (and collect the kids, go to bed, go home). Very effectively using the time. Thinking ahead, having a tight schedule.
- Freeze: You instinctively decide that there is no way you can fight the enemy, no chance to run to a safe place. Then you go to the oldest defense gear: Fainting with the hope that the enemy do not detect you or decide to leave you and pick you up the next day. This gear is shutting down a lot of the body’s functions to fuel the enemy – they think you are dead. And worst case you cannot feel pain if the enemy decide to eat you. The light version of this is that you hide behind a tree with some of the Freeze symptoms: shallow breathing, no motion, no voice, cold skin to prevent smelling. And in a modern version you do not need a tree to hide behind to get into this gear.
- Fawn: With an open mind you embrace the situation. Let things happen without interacting. Maybe the enemy is more frighten of you and your bare presence. You have a good faith in other people and your own body. In modern version you are the type that say: Let us see what time brings us, nothing wrong with me, I have trust in other people. Of course nothing is wrong with me.
- Sleep: The body are recreating and sorting out important from unimportant information’s from the day before – and a lot more. It is lifesaving to sleep 6-8 hours a day in long uninterrupted intervals. There is a lot of new science in this field.
- Peace: From this gear you can handle most situations. Your body helps you and you are seldom sick. You regularly take a body scan to ensure that everything is OK. You embrace other people, can feel your body and it signals, acknowledge that you must act on your feelings
We all use all gears occasionally. But most of the time you must be in peace to avoid being ill or diseased. To many years using the stress gears will harm your body. and it is only in the peace gear you can heal using the placebo effect, as it is only from here your body produce the good hormones dopamine and serotonin.
To long time using adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones make you capable of fighting and running without the sensation of what you need and feel. When you get older you cannot cope with it and you get stressed, ill or depressed.
I think that certain diseases are associated with the different stress gears. But each of us has our unique chemical cocktail, so it will take some years to reveal if I am right. Parkinson’s disease is interesting in the way that it is the diagnosis you get if no other diagnoses fit. You can be in a room with 10 different persons having no overlapping symptoms. So It is a good place to start this revolution on beliefs about mental and psychical health’s.
How to get out of a stress type and spending more and more time in pease:
- Realize you are not in peace all the time.
- Do more things where you are in peace.
- Observing yourself and find your stress situations,
- “I do not have to fight”.
- “I do not have to run”.
- “I am in no life threatening situations now”.
- “My body tells me I have to act now”.
- Reduce the root cause of the stress, not avoiding situations. You can do this in 1000 different ways. I of course recommend to remove traumas in your life, because I know it works.