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Flight and Fight response

 

Flight or Fight response was first written about by Walter Canon in 1915.  It can also be called Stress Response or Acute Stress response or acute arousal...

 

What is it?

 

In a nutshell it is how the body copes, reacts or responds to STRESS..... or DANGER or ANGER or a FRIGHT...

or how our mind interrupts what is about to happen – The body responds to what we create in our MINDS is about to happen...

 

Our autonomic nervous system kicks in...Para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system is automatic in times of extreme danger or

perceived danger / anger to prepare the body for what is about to happen....

 

What happens?

 

ie:  Loud banging on the Front Door  in the middle of the night.... 

 

The flight or fight response is activated in the physical body:

  • Increase in heart rate

  • Increase in blood pressure

  • Increase in respirations

  • Increase in 02 consumption

  • Increase in blood to the muscles (for fast getaway)

  • Vaso dilation in the eyes – large pupils

  • Vaso constriction in other parts of the body

  • Adrenal hormones filter into the blood stream/ cortisol and norephinephrine from adrenal glands to makes us alert with the ability to respond quickly and powerfully

  • Decrease in tears, salvia, sexual function, sphincters either shut or open

 

Within seconds our bodies are full of energy as we assess the potential threat... we then decide to : 

 

A  Go down and investigate... grab a weapon on the way down to FIGHT      whatever is on the other side of the door

 

B  Ignore, Hide under the covers, hope it goes away, call for help, wake the man in the house  ......  flight run away from the situation.... or look for back up call police...

 

The thing is our biological system is activated with the thought of what could happen.  This allows for the fastest possible response to danger...

 

BUT  there is a hidden danger here also....

 

In our modern lives the Flight or Fight response can be activated several times a day and it is not always appropriate to Fight back or Run away so it is suppressed...  We do not frequently encounter kinds of emergencies that require large amounts of physical effort ... yet our bodies are still producing adrenal hormones in the same quantities...

 

  • You are in the office...you manager is micro managing you.... you can not get away, they really are getting on your nerves

 

  • You are in a traffic Jam and the person in front of you and to the left of you wont allow you to exit to the left... you really need to get off at this off ramp.... your Flight or fight response is activated but you are limited to use it...

    • not appropriate to barge through causing damage to your car and everyone elses...

    • you can not abandon your car and get out and ask them...

    • you are late for work...

    • you have an appointment...

    • your blood starts to boil...

    •  

  • You are working as a waitress and the Chef is getting ANGRY... every time you go to get food he YELLS.... its not appropriate to SHOUT back or wind him up anymore, he is your Boss so not appropriate to tell him to talk nicely... you can not flee the scene you are working....

  •  

  • Stroppy Surgeon when you are assisting them as a new graduate or student nurse...  Stuck there with them trying to do everything before they ask... but they still snap at you.... you can not snap back you are feeling very nervous .... 

  •  

  • Perfectionist Partner... you anticipate their anger so tip top around them or hide information from them so you don’t get the negative reaction.... you are living in this Flight/fright response often...

 

Our systems are designed to return to normal homoeostasis/ normal function / Relaxed state once the “STRESS” has gone ..... 

 

What if our systems do not return to normal function.... we do not relax ?

 

PROLONGED STRESS..... WHAT DOES IT DO....

 

With the stress hormones in our bodies all the time this makes the body very acidic.... Acid in the body causes DIESEASE... Stress causing disease....

 

THIS CAUSES DAMAGE TO OUR PHYSICAL OR OUR MENTAL BODY......

 

  • Mental disorders PANIC DISORDERS AND Depressions

  • Alcoholism AND Drug abuse

  • Escaping to computer games Watching TV endlessly

  • Eating disorders, anorexia, comfort eating

  • DISEASE ; CANCERS, CHRONIC PAIN,

  • CONSTIPATION, IBS, STOMACH UPSETS, ulcers

  • DECREASE IN IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • ALLERGIES, SKIN DISEASE, ASTHMA

  • MS, hypertension, strokes, fibros

  • Sleeping disorders, back, neck, muscle stiffness

  • After war this was seen as post traumatic stress disorder or Stress response, the memory of past trauma, painful memories, or panic disorder

 

As the stress returns with thoughts....

 

The above disorders in our modern day lifestyle these are only some of the disease and disorder conventional medicine is now recognising can be caused and intensified by stress....

 

Yes we all need a little stress in our lives or we get complacent, bored and under challenged... Healthy stress is called EUSTRESS

 

Eustress is the good stress that motivates you to continue working. Stress can be a motivator and provide incentive to get the job done.  Everyone needs a little bit of stress in their life in order to continue to be happy, motivated, challenged and productive. It is when this stress is no longer tolerable and/or manageable that distress comes in.

 

Bad stress, or distress, is when the good stress becomes to much to bear or cope with. Tension builds, there is no longer any fun in the challenge, there seems to be no relief, no end in sight. This is the kind of stress most of us are familiar with and this is the kind of stress that leads to poor decision making. Physiological symptoms of distress include and increase in blood pressure, rapid breathing and generalized tension. Behavioural symptoms include overeating, loss of appetite, drinking, smoking and negative coping mechanisms.

 

Dr Herbert Benson

 

“THE RELAXATION RESPONSE IS A PHYSICAL STATE OF DEEP REST THAT CHANGES THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO STRESS.... THE OPPOSITE OF FIGHT AND FLIGHT RESPONSE....”

 

What is the answer? 

How do we relax our bodies ?

Stress Management...

 

  1. develop an understanding of how stress affects us

  2. learn to recognise the symptoms of stress in our bodies

  3. understand what our personal stress triggers are

  4. develop techniques for releasing stress (returning body to relaxation response)

  5. learn how to avoid or minimise the situations in our lives that cause us stress

 

 

 

LEARN HOW TO MEDITATE.... learn the relaxation response, Learn How positive thoughts heal... negative thoughts do damage....

 

  • Qualities of

    • Relaxation Response...     

      • ARE  opposite to

        • Flight / Fight Response

 

  • planned daily habit                                                                   automatic perception of danger, stress, anger...

 

  • calm or slient internal dialogue,                                              Very noisy mind chatter

 

  • expansion of attention,                                                            Very short attention spand

 

  • builds happiness                                                                      Created Depression

 

  • decreases rate of aging,                                                         Age rapidly

 

  • helps individual progress and evolve,                                    Helps individual survive and evolve

 

  •  experience at being at one with environment,                              Experience being at odds with environment

 

  • attitude of acceptance                                                             Attitude of Resistance

 

  • Decrease blood pressure,                                                      Increase in  Blood pressure

 

  • decrease your heart rate,                                                        Increase in Heart rate

 

  • decrease the need for 02 consumption,                                Increase in 02 consumption

 

  • decrease respirations,                                                            Increase in respirations

 

  • decrease muscle tension,                                                       Increase in muscle tension

 

  • reduce cortisol,                                                                Increase in secretions of cortisol

 

  • reduce noradrenalin,                                                               Increase in adrenalin in blood stream

 

  •  stress releasing,                                                                    Stress Inducing

 

  • eyes relax,                                                                             Eyes wide open and straining