Fight or Flight Response
The fight or flight response is one of the tools your body uses to protect you from danger. When you feel threatened, the fight-or-flight response is automatically triggered, and several physiological changes prepare you to either confront or flee the threat.
– Increased heart rate – Racing thoughts – Difficulty concentrating
– Dizziness or light headedness – Nausea / “butterflies” in stomach – Rapid, shallow breathing
– Shaking – Sweating – Tensed muscles
Everyone will experience the fight-or-flight response at times, to varying degrees. Usually, it’s a natural, healthy, and not a problem. However, when the fight-or-flight response leads to excessive anger, anxiety, prolonged stress, or other problems, it might be time to intervene.
In addition to the fight-or-flight response, your body can initiate an opposing relaxation response. Many symptoms of the relaxation response counteract the fight-or-flight response, such as slower and deeper breathing, relaxed muscles, and slower heart rate. The relaxation response can be triggered by using relaxation skills, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.