Braking Good

The primary biochemical mechanism that facilitates fight-or-flight involves activation of the h-p-a axis — the link between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and the two adrenal glands above our kidneys. However, we’re not necessarily running or fighting for our lives — the fight-or-flight is simply a consequence of the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, and it will happen even when we’ve been in waking sleep and someone calls our name. In this case the physiological effect will be very small and hardly

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Resilire et Robur

The full title of our programme is the Challenge of Change Resilience Training. We chose the word resilience to distinguish it clearly from the muddle-headed approach to stress exemplified by ‘stress-management’ training, which implies that stress is an inevitable part of life that has somehow to be managed. By contrast, our view is that since stress is the acquired habit of ruminating over emotional upsets, and that habits can be changed with practice, it is perfectly possible to be free of stress.

Resilience is now widely used to describe programmes aimed at helping people develop ways of behaving that will enhance their health and well-being, and it suggests the capacity to quickly bounce back from adversity. This use of the word echoes its etymology – it was derived from the Latin resilire, meaning

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