The acute stress response is commonly referred to as the "fight, flight, or freeze" response.
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During the acute stress response we experience a desire to fight, take flight, or freeze. This is because certain hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, shunting blood flow to major muscle groups, and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength.
Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, it’s now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work.
When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response, but in our times of chronic stress, this often doesn’t happen enough, causing damage to the body.
This video clip explains the basic neuro-biological science of the fight, flight or freeze response.
You may not have experienced trauma personally. However, understanding how the human brain works when faced with a threat will help you manage your own responses better in a challenging situation.
When you are ready, click the play button and you will be redirected to You Tube to watch the video.