Short-term effects of “fight or flight” on your body…

The “fight or flight”, or “stress response”, is a survival mechanism – it keeps us alert and ready to respond to the best of our physical ability when threatened.

Physiologically, in the short term, this can mean the following:

  • our senses and perceptions sharpen;
  • our eyes dry out;
  • a loss of peripheral vision;
  • auditory exclusion and hearing loss;
  • our salivary glands stop producing saliva;
  • our breathing rate speeds up and becomes shallow;
  • increased heart rate;
  • our blood pressure rises;
  • digestion slows down or completely stops;
  • a loss of bladder control;
  • cortisol is released, suppressing our immune system;
  • blood sugar levels rise, and glucose is sent to our muscles;
  • muscles become tense and may start to tremble;
  • our body feels sweaty and clammy, and,
  • cramps in our toes and feet may occur

My next post will outline some of the long-term physiological effects of remaining on “high alert”.

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