Fight-or-Flight Syndrome: 5 Ways to Always Stay Calm

Fight-or-Flight Syndrome
5 ways to keep calm at all times

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Our body often reacts in stressful situations with the so-called fight-or-flight syndrome. You can find out what this is all about and how you can counteract it here.

Whether at school, university or at work: at some point we will find ourselves in a room full of people because we are performing a play, giving a lecture or a presentation. Many people get excited at such moments, they can barely eat anything and their heartbeat and breathing skyrocket – and there is a reason. This reaction is due to fight-or-flight syndrome.

Fight-or-Flight Syndrome: Evolutionary Fear

The fight-or-flight reaction is anchored in us. Humans and animals alike use it to react to an acute threat that could endanger their lives. At that moment, your body changes and tells you that you now have to decide on an action. The reason: Thousands of years ago, early humans lived in largely untouched nature and were often confronted with the threat of predators. Breathing and heart rate have increased so that the limbs have more oxygen and enough energy to either fight or run away as quickly and effectively as possible. From an evolutionary point of view, this reaction makes sense – and was vital.

But what about fight-or-flight syndrome in the modern world? In the meantime, most threats are no longer physical, but cognitive in nature: we worry about our loved ones, have financial problems, have stress at work or have arguments with our: r partner: in. While these aren’t literally fighting or fleeing situations, our bodies are still trained to deal with them. The fight-or-flight response also kicks in with this type of stress, which can lead to increased nervous system activity and symptoms of anxiety.

Fight-or-Flight Response: 5 Ways to Keep Calm

While this response is natural to some extent, there are methods to keep it in check.

1. Take a deep breath

Sounds trite, but it helps: Methods that counteract the fight-or-flight response generally consist of actively doing the opposite of what the nervous system automatically triggers. As your breathing increases and becomes shallow in stressful situations, you can take countermeasures by taking slow, deep abdominal breathing.

2. Pay attention to your behavioral patterns

It can be helpful to pay attention to exactly when the fight-or-flight response is more active. For example, you may notice that you tend to get nervous and jittery if you have drunk too much coffee. Once you recognize this pattern, you can adjust your behavior to minimize the fight-or-flight response.

3. Reinterpretation

Recognized behavioral patterns? Great, the reinterpretation is still missing. Because by realizing when your fight-or-flight response is kicking in and thinking about whether or not it’s helpful, you can reduce that response in the latter. For example, if you find yourself becoming extremely anxious about a date and considering canceling, you should be aware of this reaction – are you trying to escape a perceived “threat”? In reality, you are not in physical danger even if your body prepares you for it. If you reinterpret the situation and your physical reactions, the nervous system can calm down.

4. Acceptance

Worrying about your body’s reaction while it’s taking place can send further signals to the brain that you are in danger. The result: the reaction intensifies or prolongs. It is the same with panic attacks. Those affected think that their panic attack will harm them, which means that the attack will intensify. While accepting the fight-or-flight response as normal may seem counter-intuitive, it can help reduce it.

5. Movement

The fact that sport helps to reduce stress and creates a certain balance is proven time and again. According to researchers, exercise can also help reduce anxiety. The mild stress that occurs during exercise is said to improve resistance to stress in general.

Seek medical help

The fight-or-flight response is designed to protect us from potential danger. But if it is overactive or too pronounced, it can contribute to mental and physical health problems. So if you experience the syndrome to a high degree, a visit to a doctor’s office is advisable.

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