How Fear And Stress
Interfere With Decision Making
How fear and stress interfere with decision making. It’s almost impossible if you are an adult not to have had a situation where you had a major decision to make and you just freeze up. You aren’t sure what the best choice or decision is or maybe you don’t want to make a big mistake so… you do nothing. This only adds to the stressful situation. Fear can definitely create a great deal of stress. A person experiences stress when the demands on them exceed the available resources they are able to free up to deal with the situation. What are the typical responses to this stress?
Typical Stress Responses
According to Hans Selye, the famous endocrinologist:
1) Fight or Flight: Our basic survival instincts tell us to do one or the other. This is usually short term.
2) General Adaptation: This is the resistance phase. Resistance to the situation that is stressing you out increases as you accept it, adapt to it, and learn to cope with it. This is longer term until you can’t resist it any more.
3) Exhaustion: Resistance declines substantially and you basically give in to the stress.
Fight or Flight Response
In nature, when we perceive a threat or experience a shocking situation, our bodies release hormones that help us to run faster (flight or to flee) or fight harder to help us survive. Our heart rate increases and blood pressure rises to deliver more oxygen and delivers blood sugar to important muscles. Fear induces us to sweat more to cool these muscles and help them work more efficiently. What else do we experience when we are in this phase? We are excitable, anxious, jumpy and irritable.
In this state, we are unable to work effectively with other people (like me). You may experience a trembling or heart-pounding in your chest, and find it difficult to execute precise, controlled skills. You may actually feel frightened and your focus on survival interferes with your ability to use good judgment based on gathering information from many sources. I find that in this distracted state I can more easily trip over things or misplace things.
One misconception is that this phase has to be triggered by truly life-threatening danger. Research indicates however that it can be triggered simply by encountering something unexpected. It could be a situation where you were interrupted, became frustrated, or are experiencing something new like a new job or moving to a new area. This is all a normal part of life and it can be so subtle that we never even notice it.
General Adaptation And Exhaustion
I found it interesting that Selye conducted research during World War II with bomber pilots. They of course went through the flight or fight stage when they flew their first few missions over enemy territory. But, once they had completed a few missions, the pilots usually settled down, fear subsided, they adapted, and performed well. After flying many missions, however, pilot fatigue would set in as they began to show “neurotic manifestations”. We cannot stay under constant stress long term and stay healthy. You will burn out. I’ve been there and my body just basically shuts me down and forces me to rest.
If you are or were a Lehigh Acres resident over the last 12 years, the housing boom and subsequent bust put a huge strain on you. Should you stay and wait for things to get better and reap a potential profit, or should you sell quickly and move on elsewhere before things get worse? History tells us that the market will go through times of abundance (although I don’t believe we will ever see the market artificially inflated like it was a few years ago) and times with a market downturn. If you plan, stay watchful, and make preparations, you needn’t be caught unaware. You can make a profit no matter what the economy is doing if you have the right information and strategy.
There are very few situations in this modern world where the above reactions or responses are actually useful. Whether selling or buying a home, it is truly a team effort. Most situations benefit from a calm, rational, controlled and socially-sensitive approach. As your REALTOR ®, you can see how a client that is stuck in one of the phases above will not make the most progress as a homebuyer or homeseller. It can seriously interfere with the whole process of trying to reach your family goals. So, prepare for listing your home or buying a new home by choosing team members wisely. A good experienced REALTOR ® can make all the difference.