This inverted U-shaped curve represents the Yerkes-Dodson law: an association between stress level and body-mind performance.
Tap the hot spots on the stress continuum to learn more about how different stress levels affect performance.
‘Allostatic load’ is the cumulative effect of trauma and other stressors within our biological and psychological systems throughout the lifespan. Our genetics, our past experiences, and how we see those around us cope with stress all influence how much of a load we carry. When the allostatic load exceeds our coping mechanisms—both psychological and physiological—posttraumatic stress symptoms may develop.
When a person’s allostatic load is too high for too long, that continuous exposure to stress causes the normal neuroendocrine stress responses to become over-sensitized and thus constantly and overly activated.
This can lead to the development of trauma symptoms and often unhealthy changes in the structure and function of the brain and other organ systems, with potentially long-term health consequences.