Women's Circle - Stress & the Tiger in the Room (Evening Session)
The FAWCO Target Program is Health. The AWC Hamburg focuses on "The Health of Women" in our new Women's Circle. The topic in September will be stress - how our mind and body reacts to it and how we can learn to respond better to daily stressors and regulate ourselves more effectively .
Self-regulation is the ability of a person to remain or to return to a baseline. It is the ability to keep your emotions manageable and resist impulses and unwanted behaviors. We learn self-regulation by experience first with our parents and peers and then on our own.
Stress is a normal part of life. Acute stress may be compared to life-threatening danger. Imagine a tiger pacing in the room where you are. With your eyes fixed on the predator, you would probably slowly move back into the corner, your hand may search for a stick, your mind may evaluate ways to escape… or your muscles might stiffen unable to move. Fight, flight or freeze are the responses of our autonomous nervous system to an extraordinary life or death situation and are meant to ensure our survival. They require huge energy input and are designed to be temporary.
However, when this abnormal situation lasts over time, or when the brain perceives every little stressor as a “tiger”; fight/getting really angry, or flight/getting really scared and withdrawing, become the standard response in every situation. These "tigers" make our world revolve around them, conquering our attention and reducing opportunities. Research has shown that we tend to interpret facial expressions through the light of our emotional state: being angry we tend to perceive neutral faces as rather furious, being sad, we have a feeling of being surrounded by depressed individuals. Stress also results in immune system dysregulation and our bodies start suffering: the healing of the wounds may be impaired, or blood pressure may increase even in sleep.
One thing we have to keep in mind, if a "tiger" represents acute stress and a threat to life, other life events may also have effects of different strength. These effects, if cumulated may approach a "tiger" level.
Join Anna S. to learn a bit more about
1. your stressors - "tigers";
2. how to adapt your reaction and coping accordingly - self-regulate;
3. how to leave past stressful events in your past where they belong;
4. and enjoy the here and now in the wonderful company of AWCH members.
Session facilitated by Anna S, will be repeated as morning and evening session (10:00-13:00 OR 18:00-21:00) on Thursday, September 12.