There are several possible ways to explain the fact that we may feel stressed in situations where there is no real danger involved. First of all, imagination is an extremely powerful tool. In some cases, there is no need for a real threat to appear because one’s brain can make them believe that the danger is real, and their body begins to react in a certain way. The reason for that may lie in a person’s past experience. For example, if he or she was once in a similar situation, but the threat was then real, their brain may decide that it is quite real now, too.
Another reason for feeling stressed in situations that do not pose a real danger is one’s overall poor psychological or physical condition. For instance, on a certain day, a person did not sleep enough, failed an important project at work, did not manage to eat properly, lost their keys, stepped into a puddle, and argued with their mother. If, in addition to everything that happened that day, for example, he or she forgets to buy milk, the body will most likely fall into severe stress. Of course, this stress will not be a reaction to forgotten milk but to the sum of all the adverse and upsetting events that have occurred in a short period of time.
Numerous methods appear to help put the stressful event in perspective and keep one’s stress responses in proportion to the actual situation. As for me, taking a moment to breathe in deeply and sensibly evaluate the situation is the best way to pull myself together. Typically, I may tell myself: “Well, this has already happened, and there is nothing I can do to turn back time. However, I can calm down and think about how to fix it.” In case I am ridiculously overreacting, I also ask myself whether someone’s life depends on me stressing out and panicking. Certainly, the answer is always negative, and after realizing it, I am able to relax and put the stressful event in perspective. Controlling my breath, telling myself that I can deal with anything, and sometimes meditating helps me greatly. Additionally, I may create a rough plan of further action. The process itself and the proof of the situation’s controllability make it easier for me to calm down.