Hey Claire, you've been really quiet these last few days. Is something wrong?
I've been really stressed. It's the end of the year and I've got so much stuff to do!
I feel like I'm drowning in work.
Well, stress is a real thing. It's not an imaginary condition.
It's seriously affecting my life!
I can't sleep. I don't have much of an appetite and my husband says I've been kind of short-tempered.
Other people seem to handle stress okay... Why am I so weak?
You're not weak... You're stressed out!
Stress has been a part of the human condition for millions of years.
Back when we still lived in the trees we had to watch out for predators...
And as you might imagine, that was pretty stressful.
Yeah, but I don't see any tigers or leopards roaming around our office.
My stress is just about silly paperwork!
But you're actually having the same reaction as our tree-dwelling ancestors!
It's called the "flight or fight" response.
Each time you feel like something's threatening you, your body decides whether to run away or fight.
It causes all sorts of chemical reactions in the body.
So a deadline will cause that same reaction?
It could. Modern humans actually have more "flight or fight" responses than our ancestors did.
They just had a couple of close calls every day, but today, we have dozens or even hundreds!
So the life of a cave woman was less stressful than my life?