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How Stress Shows Up

2 Modules 3 Chapters 11 Lessons

About this course

Stress "shows up" in our bodies and minds in a variety of ways. 

Having a better understanding of your responses will help you to self-heal.

This course outlines the most common responses.

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Course Structure

3 Chapters

Common Responses

The most common responses are outlined here. You probably have experienced these many times in your life.

Top Three Responses 3 Lessons

Anxiety Arousal

Symptoms of anxiety including Post Trauma, include but are not limited to:

Fatigue, restlessness, or sweating are common physical symptoms.

Many people report a lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.
You might feel behavior such as hypervigilance or irritability
Also; anxiety, excessive worry, fear, feeling of impending doom, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling can result.
Which of the above have you experienced?


Mood and "mind" thoughts, can be depressive in response to the environment or state.

Interestingly, anxiety is also a symptom of depression.

You might feel anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness
sleep is often disrupted; unwanted early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep
Excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, or restlessness are common "food" related responses.
Agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation are common responses as is lack of concentration, slowness in activity or thoughts of suicide. (Please contact 911 or your nearest clinic or emergency room if you feel self-harm or harm to others).
Weight can go up or down, and mind-racing is another result.
Based upon ALL of this (some people might say "wow I feel some of these often), which are the ones that trouble you the most?


The anger response is huge.

In addition to the actual feeling of "anger" or rage, that can include impatience and irritability, the following symptoms can result...

  • Tingling.
  • Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Headaches.
  • Pressure in the head or sinus cavities *this is so common! I have had so many clients who thought that they had chronic allergies or sinus issues and it was their chronic anger causing the problems. This is why all of their rounds of antibiotics never seemed to work. 
  • Fatigue. *We associate anger with wanting to act out, but anger is exhausting. Many chronically angry people sleep and nap often, and have disrupted sleep.

3 Emotional Wall Responses 3 Lessons


One wall that we have is post-trauma; these are intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and feelings of the past being in the present. I included this in "walls" because this limits the experiencer to such an extent it can stop them from being in the present.

How often has something from the past seemed to haunt you? Maybe in a nightmare or you didn't trust someone based on a past experience, or an actual flashback that felt like a living nightmare?


Defensive behaviors and feelings are feelings of avoidance and can be mind and feeling.  

These are behaviors that stop us from moving forward in life.

Many people who are describing this call it "sticking up for myself" or "I don't want to get hurt first, so I left the relationship before it got bad" and those types of terminology.

Have you felt this way? Don't confuse this though with actually having a boundary and someone telling you that you are defensive because you support your boundary.


Feeling numb, empty, void, without purpose, uncaring, or depersonalization are all feelings of dissociation. 

When in your life did you feel like this and what do you feel prompted it?

Confusion Responses 3 Lessons


Sexual concerns and sexual behavior that is dysfunctional are areas that are often, a stress response.

Sexual dissatisfaction, dysfunction, and unwanted sexual thoughts can be isolating and bring more stress. There is also the danger of sexual behavior that might be self-harming in nature, high-risk activity with risk to health and well-being (and life) and also inappropriate behaviors, touching, and boundaries.

These all can be brought on because of stress; as we are more and more stressed, we become more and more isolated in our thoughts and less comfortable with boundaries and healthy experiences. We are in survival mode, and sexuality is deeply connected to survival from an evolutionary space.


Self Response

Impaired self-reference is all things "self". 

Identity confusion, purpose loss, a feeling of isolation. This also includes a perceived lack of support.

Have you felt this way? Often those who have been in toxic relationships report among other responses, this one is almost always in the top three.

Tension Reduction Outburst

Unlike say, working out to as a preventative, the person who is feeling tension outbursts might be having self-mutilation, overwork, angry outbursts, and high tension behaviors. These are usually quite visible.

Lets's explore; how do you connect to this if at all?

2 Lessons

Essay (Optional)

We will write a short essay about and to, our stress. You may include it here or you may do it on your own. The lesson has more details. This is very healing and a foundation of healing by communicating inner thoughts that rise upward.

Healing Writing Prompt

In the space provided, write to your stress.

It can be just a paragraph or an essay, even a poem - but base it upon the responses that you just read about.


Dear Stress,

You have been speaking to me in the form of high blood pressure, insomnia and feeling depressed. I would like for us to manage stress better, so I would like you to start reminding me to take three deep breaths or, take a nice gentle walk.


Dear Stress,

When I was little, I used to hide and eat to stop the sound of my parents fighting. As an adult, I have battled with weight all of my life. I feel anxious and I sleep all of the time; I feel lazy. I'm not. I'm a scared child inside. I am sick of picking the wrong partners in my love life who argue just like my parents did. From now on, I'm not going to always "eat" my feelings so, I'm going to start taking courses and meditating and you'll just have to get used to it - signed, empowered.


underneath the stress

a wild bird flutters freedom

i commit to peace


... now your turn-- get creative.


I'm proud of you for going through this course. It was hopefully, peacefully illuminating. Meaning, you learned more about yourself but also you accepted that you are more in control of your stress than you thought. It's a short course and just a beginning...

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