The short answer is…NO! Zebras don’t usually worry about social and psychological stressors (like in-laws, dress sizes, the weather or even the stock market), and focus solely on physical stressors like lions and twigs snapping suspiciously in the distance. They don’t suffer the same chronic activation of stress response we do.
An animal’s stress response kicks in when they are being chased by a predator. Think of a zebra being pursued by that very hungry lion. When the zebra escapes the attack the stress response switches off and shuts down, allowing the zebra to continue with its’ day. In over words, in between predation attempts the zebra is calm, at ease and continues to go about its’ day to day life. It doesn’t flood itself with stress hormones wondering when the next chase is likely to happen.
It’s different with us humans. When we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that the zebra does, for example, but unfortunately we don’t resolve conflict in the same way, through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response can make us sick, literally sick – physically, emotionally and mentally. Prolonged stress causes or amplifies a range of physical and mental suffering, including depression, heart disease, ill-health etc.
The good news is that it is entirely possible to change this. Yes, it takes work and it’s not a “one-session-magic-fix”, but it’s a quick process. Contact me for more information, I’m here to help!