"Perception is reality." - Lee Atwater
Your perception of your environment influences how you think and feel. You consciously and unconsciously are constantly monitoring and appraising your surroundings. What you see, hear, touch, smell and taste can all impact what happens next in your system.
For example, you may have been in a car accident in which a car caught fire. In the future, every time you smell burning rubber, you may be instantly transported back to that accident. Instantly, the stress response is triggered. Often, you are unaware why you are suddenly feeling a little shaky and panicky. Upon smelling burning rubber, your body released a cascade of neuro-chemicals, all designed for flight or fight. Only in this case, it was unwarranted. You were not in immediate danger.
When you begin to notice your responses and have techniques at hand you can prevent the flood which in many instance is unnecessary. How often are you unwittingly activating the stress response?
To further illustrate this point, I'd like to take you through a small scenario. So please, sit back and enjoy: