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Reigning in Stress in Stressful Times

2020 has been challenging. Even more challenging than the year I turned 17 and my high school crush who played guitar didn’t like me back.

My learned behavior for traumatic events is “recede.” (Basically lying on the floor and watching the shadows on the ceilings change.) For others it may be: “pick a fight,” “eat an excessive amount of chips,” or “buy more lysol…”

Our go-to in stressful situations is as unique as our thumbprint. It is formulated in the part of the brain known as the “Me Center” (the medial prefrontal cortex), where we process information relating to ourselves and experiences. The neural pathways between our body sensations and fear sensors are naturally very strongly connected to the Me Center and can result in heightened anxiety or even physical pain when we experience a challenging set of circumstances.