Think about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond? Could you have responded differently?
Fight or flight mode is a term used to describe our body and brain’s innate response to “dangerous” situations. When acute stressors occurs our body releases hormones that stimulate our adrenal glands, which is how we get an “adrenaline rush”. Typical symptoms include heart rate increases, changes in blood pressure and increased breathing. All of these physical responses and many others you might experience are intended to help you survive a dangerous situation by preparing you to either run for your life or fight for your life. It is a primal response that can allow for an opportunity to do things that we may not be able to do otherwise. This is why you may hear a story of a woman being able to move a car or something crazy when her child is in harms way…all thanks to the limbic system.
If for some reason you feel that your body is jumping into a fight or flight response unnecessarily then you may want to ask yourself a few questions like the following: What is going on with me? What about this situation makes me feel uncomfortable? What evidence is there to support such a strong response? What do I need to do to take care of this uncomfortable emotion?