The Stress or Fight or Flight Response
The stress response or SR is a brain and body state characterized by sympathetic nervous system, or our fight or flight system taking over. This is good in situations of acute danger, like being chased by a predator, because this response helps spur you into action to escape.
However, in modern life, the SR can become chronically activated, due to the build up of seemingly small mental stressors that can gradually start to overwhelm the nervous system. This can often happen without us consciously feeling ‘stressed.’
The Stress Response is characterized by:
- Increased oxygen use
- Increased heart rate and increased breathing rate
- Increased stress hormones
- Feeling on edge
- Increased muscle tension
We want to avoid having the SR turned on all of the time.