Convert Your Stress into Courage and Connection Part I
I read an interesting article on how stress doesn’t always lead to a fight-or-flight response. It can also activate brain systems that help us connect with other people to diminish our stress. I found this an interesting concept and put together a quick little series on how you can turn your stress into courage and connection.
In stressful situations, most people tend to withdrawal from situations in order to deal with their stress. The article actually looked at how men and women deal with stress in different ways. A group of researchers at UCLA discovered that the female scientists reacted differently to stress than the male researchers. While the men would disappear into their offices, the women would bring food and drinks to the lab and bond. What they discovered was that the women were tending and befriending.
The researchers found that not all stress can lead to aggression. In women, especially, they found that they were more likely to talk more about their issues, spend time with loved ones or channel some of their stress by caring for others. The researchers also discovered that in other research on animals and humans, the evidence showed that stress increased that caring, cooperation and compassion piece of the human nature.
What they found was that stress cannot only give the fight-or-flight response, but can also set free that protective instinct. In times of stress both men and women, were shown to become more trusting and generous with a willingness to risk their own safety to protect others.
Do you find yourself more withdrawn during stressful situations, or do you seek out a friend or group to help discuss the stressful situation?