Neurological Approach To Stress

Neurological Approach To Stress

The following piece was contributed by Catriona Kirwan from Catriona Kirwan Coaching. Catriona is a high impact personal coach and the Evolve Marketing team were delighted to both speak to her and get her thoughts on stress in our lives. To get in touch with Catriona and learn more about what she does and how she can help you, please visit her website or send her an email at

Below, Catriona discusses how she tries to reframe stress through a neurological lens and believes this can be the best way for people to think about it.


“Why the neurological approach to stress is the best way to tackle it: Stress is a whole-body reaction to a challenge or demand for change when we perceive that challenge or demand for change (the threat) as greater than out ability to cope or manage it.

The important thing here is that it is all about our perception of the situation. The body doesn’t wait to decide if the threat is real or not, once it perceives it as being real, the autonomic nervous system takes over and triggers a full fight or flight reaction.

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The brain sends a signal to the adrenal glands to release Adrenaline. Heart rate goes up and breathing becomes shallow. Sugars and fats are released release Adrenaline into the blood stream. Our heart rate goes up and the breathing becomes shallow.

Blood flows to the muscles to get them ready for fight or flight so our muscles become tense. Sugar and fats are released into the blood stream.

Cortisol which is our stress neurochemical is now released and we are in a full fight or flight reaction. Heavy emotions then begin to emerge, such as anger, fear, anxiety, or resentment. Trying to work with these emotions can be very draining but having a better understanding of the best neurological approach to stress can help you in the long run. This is now a whole-body reaction brought about by the Autonomic Nervous System.”



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