From Elaina: The other day, I was driving with my daughter and a car came off the highway, zoomed across all three lanes of the service road, and cut right in front of me to turn right, then continued on to drive down the wrong side of the road. Luckily, I slammed on my brakes and was able to avoid an accident. As my daughter and I sat there stunned, I realized that it had happened so fast, that I didn’t have time for the flight or fight response. I did not get the cortisol and adrenaline rush followed by the shakes. It was all just too fast! Then, my daughter and I started talking about it and I could feel my hormone system start kicking in. I stopped talking about it because, I was ramping myself up with the what ifs. I didn’t have the stress response in the moment but I was creating a stress response by reliving the event.
Your body and hormone system can not tell the difference between a stressful event that happened and the retelling of that event. With every retelling, dwelling, etc., your cortisol will spike just as it did during the stressful event. In some cases, by reliving an event, we create a stress response that wasn’t even there in the first place!
Good and bad things happen to us all the time. It’s not wrong to think through past events. We can use it as a tool to be honest and see where we need to make changes. Was there a lesson we were supposed to learn? Is there room for forgiveness of ourselves or another person? There is a problem though, with retelling the same story where we are the victim over and over again. Is there a way to rewrite the story you tell yourself? Can you learn what you need to learn and let go? Let’s all create a new story where we are the heroes of our lives!