“A trauma can be defined as any significant negative event or incident that shaped us. It can emerge from any impactful instance that made us feel bad, scared, hurt or ashamed. By this definition, we have all experienced some degree of trauma in the process of growing up.https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-to-overcome-all-emotional-blocks-and-become-self-actualized-rare-f1c105e69074
Stress is a biological and psychological response experienced on encountering a threat that we feel we do not have the resources to deal with.
A stressor is the stimulus (or threat) that causes stress, e.g. exam, divorce, death of loved one, moving house, loss of job.
Sudden and severe stress generally produces:
- Increase in heart rate
- Increase in breathing (lungs dilate)
- Decrease in digestive activity (don’t feel hungry)
- Liver released glucose for energy
All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a ‘for better and for worse’ manner. Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments. Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected.
In contrast, adaptable resilient children who don’t get easily stressed are like little dandelions, they’ll grow and thrive anywhere.
Studies are now showing ‘orchid’ and ‘dandelion’ genes linked to particular enzymes or brain chemical receptors, if and only if combined with early childhood toxic stress, can trigger behavioural problems and mood disorders later in life. Continue reading “It’s possible we’ve underestimated the importance of childhood.”
Veterans participating in the Dogs2Vets owner-trainer program experienced significant reductions in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, perceived stress, isolation, and self-judgment accompanied by significant increases in self-compassion. In contrast there were no significant improvements in these measures among veterans in the wait list control group. Qualitative data reinforced the statistical findings with themes of decreased isolation, unconditional acceptance and companionship, and a renewed sense of safety and purpose from their relationships with their dogs.