Stage 2: The Stage of Resistance
It now appears that most of us are walking around in this stage.
We get stuck in this stage when stress occurs over a length of time.
Most would agree life is already stressful before even considering some of the high-stress challenges we must endure. Intense situations like demanding jobs, rigorous schooling, long-term troubled or dysfunctional relationships, prolonged illnesses or auto accident rehabilitation.
To survive, we somehow find a balance or equilibrium that allows us to function day after day under the pressure. The surge of the alarm reaction
is dampened, but our engines are constantly idling in a perpetual low-level ‘fight or flight.’ In Kinesiology we call this state "balanced imbalanced".
In order to cope, we subconsciously redefine this continually stressed state as ‘normal,' …despite the negative consequences of the constant drain on our system.
As world-renowned researcher Bruce McEwen warns in his book ‘The End of Stress as We Know It,’ “stress protects under acute conditions, but when activated chronically it can cause damage and accelerate disease.”
As this process repeats itself though life, the cumulative effect can be dramatic. We do the best we can, but inevitably we find ourselves functioning less efficiently, usually well below our true capabilities. Without major lifestyle changes, over time we gradually become more and more susceptible to various stress-related illnesses.
And unfortunately, "we carry our stress with us for a lifetime.” This is how
J. Douglas Bremner opens his book, ‘Does Stress Damage the Brain?’ He goes on to clearly demonstrate how our “short-term survival response can be at the expense of long-term function,” ultimately causing permanent damage in our brains, our bodies and our psyches.