We’re all familiar with the potentially harmful effects of stress. Experienced over long periods, the fight-flight response has been linked to many serious medical conditions. Stress is a very generic term, used to describe anything from a traffic jam to a messy divorce. But what every stress has in common, is that there’s a gap between what you want, and how it is. Life’s not co-operating.
But there’s more to stress than fight or flight – we’ve evolved some other powerful (and far more helpful) stress responses. The first is the challenge response – the one which kicks in when there’s a gap you really care about closing. The exam you want to pass, the presentation you want to absolutely nail, the project you want to deliver. These are often the stresses which give life the most meaning.