From Fighting off Bears to Sitting in Traffic: How to Cope with Modern Stressors

Stress is not new. Stress gets a bad rap these days, but in fact, there are some really good reasons why we experience stress. Let’s imagine a hypothetical person with no stress response. We will call him Bob.   Now, Bob has made the mistake of going out for a walk in the woods without packing his stress response. Unfortunately for Bob, he happens right across the path of a bear. Without the instantaneous physiological reactions we often associate with stress kicking in and triggering him to take action (fight back or run away) Bob will have to resort to lengthier cognitive processes to decide what to do in this situation. Sadly for Bob, the thinking, reasoning, and judgment that come in handy for so many other tasks are just not fast enough for this job. Bob learned the hard way that a stress response is adaptive, and could have kept him safe.