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Change Your Perceptions, Change Your Reactions

Change Your Perceptions, Change Your Reactions

If only we still faced tigers in the woods every day! Our bodies evolved to handle physical threats like that, not the mental, psychological and emotional threats we now face constantly.

Your body’s chemicals are not at war with each other, but it certainly feels that way at times! Each of us produces more than 50 hormones, which collectively control how we behave, what we feel and how we respond to the world. The sympathetic nervous system produces fight-or-flight hormones whenever we perceive a threat, taking over from the parasympathetic nervous system, whose hormones keep us calm and serene.

But ANY change can be perceived as a threat, whether it is positive or negative, because it jolts us out of our nice, safe groove of everyday life. And we all have a habit of taking minor annoyances and turning them into threats without meaning to….

A big credit-card bill shows up. “Oh no! I’ll never be able to pay it! I’ll go bankrupt!” The boss makes a negative comment on something we did. “I’m going to be fired!” We get stuck at a long red light. “I can’t stand this!!”

But we CAN stand it, we are NOT going to be fired because of one negative comment, and we will NOT go bankrupt because of a month of overspending. And we know this–rationally. But our immediate reactions ratchet up the threat level, and our bodies therefore perceive us as perpetually surrounded by tigers. So we live in a flood of stress hormones, which weaken our immune system, make us vulnerable to disease, and leave us perpetually feeling angst, discomfort and low-grade depression.

We do this to ourselves. That means we can undo it. The key is realizing that we create our own version of reality by how we react. We respond not to the event but to our perception of it….Continue reading at InspireMeToday.com.

Dr. Mark Estren is a psychologist and author specializing in helping people understand modern medicine and how to manage their own healthcare effectively.

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41 comments

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4:53PM PST on Dec 4, 2013

wonderful info! the way out of a lot of depression and anxiety. sure, sometimes there will be bad feelings, but info like this offers a way out of a lot of bad feelings. ty!

9:44PM PDT on Oct 29, 2013

I'm a person who loves wildlife. Where I grew up, dangerous animals were not creeping around in urban green spaces - they were kept in huge nature reserves. It brings African countries $millions from tourists who are attracted by these vast numbers and array of animals. The awe-inspiring experiences of these trips stay with these people for the rest of their lives.

People born in BC are used to taking their children or pets on risky walks. Bike riders are often faced with dangerous wildlife interactions. They regularly kill all types of deer, huge bears, etc while driving around their home area. Many suffer terrible consequences of these road accidents and their vehicles are so badly damaged they need to be 'written off'.

Very few tourists come to Canada exclusively for wildlife viewing - which is a great pity.
Hundreds of animals are killed on roads and gun-slinging cowboy types simply buy a licence to shoot local wildlife. Even animal reserves/parks allow this!

It is stressful to bike or walk on trails. Unlike other stresses, these are not imaginary. People and regularly attacked or have to try and save their young children from attacks.
Dogs are attacked and some careless people leave their cats outside, only to discover their remains after they were eaten a few feet from their homes.

I'm not aware of all zoos, other than the one south of Vancouver. They display mostly wildlife from other countries. Countries that have warm climat

1:38PM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

Thank you.

11:33AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

good!!!

11:33AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

good!!!

8:57AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

thanks

2:28PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

thanks

12:17PM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Life lessons, both good and bad, allow for change if you're serious. Each day is brand new and offers endless possibilities. If it turns out wrong, not quite what you expected, try again tomorrow. If you wake up dead, problem solved.

Balance and counter balance are good and necessary for growth. FACE IT, SOME DAYS WE'RE THE PIGEON, SOME DAYS WE'RE THE STATUE ... GET OVER IT.

10:12AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

thanks

9:57AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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