Low Stress Tolerance
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series
One of the many things you will read about ADD and ADDers is that we have a tough time dealing with what is referred to as “low stress tolerance.”
While true in one sense, I would like to suggest some alternative explanations for what masquerades as a lower-than-average ability to deal with stress.
Everybody has a problem with stress. Nobody reacts well to it in the long run.
In the articles “filed” in the category with this one, I will explore stress from a number of vantage points, beginning with the clear statement that, in the twenty-first century, stress is endemic - something everyone must find a way to manage. It is not a problem confined to those with Executive Functioning Disorders.
With the perception of a threat to our well-being, our bodies are designed to respond rapidly and efficiently with what’s termed the “fight or flight” reaction. The survival of our genetic ancestors depended on their biological ability to respond effectively to dangers where strength needed to be marshaled immediately.
Only those who survived were around to contribute their DNA to the human gene pool, passing down that hair-trigger alertness to danger – what we now call the stress response – to the next generation.
Since the evolution of our biology has not been able to keep pace with the evolution of our technology, that hair-trigger response to stress has continued to be passed down in our genetic code, even though it is now more likely to contribute to our demise than our salvation.
You and I were born with a neurochemical ability to become flooded with everything we need to outrun or outfight dangers we will never encounter in the lives we live today. Yet we still respond to the stressors we encounter with the same flooding of chemicals.
And boy does modern life offer opportunities to trigger that response!
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