The problem is, calm is the last thing we feel and we end up stuffing those feelings down, and down… and we carry on. Until one day, we get triggered by a person or situation and everything we’ve been stuffing down comes out in one go. Leaving other people asking ‘Where did that come from?’
Would it help you to know that our stress reaction is a perfectly natural biological ‘fight/flight/freeze’ reaction? It starts off in a tiny part of our emotional brain, called the amygdala.
The amygdala hasn’t developed much since caveman times, when it kept us safe from threats to our life…like a tiger. Its job is to prepare our body for action… sending cortisol and adrenalin to our legs and arms, so we can fight or run away (from the tiger). The problem is, those options don’t exist nowadays (much as we might like to fight our angry boss or run away from the exam). So we literally ‘freeze’, with all that adrenalin and cortisol still in our system, which can cause emotional and physical pain, particularly if it carries on in the long term.