Fight or Flight and the Connection to Anxiety

First you may be asking what is Fight or Flight?

Maybe you haven’t heard of it but you most definitely have experienced it. The “fight or flight response” is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival.


What is the physical response?

When our fight or flight response is activated, sequences of nerve cell firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release cause our body to undergo a series of very dramatic changes. Our respiratory rate increases. Blood is shunted away from our digestive tract and directed into our muscles and limbs, which require extra energy and fuel for running and fighting. Our pupils dilate. Our awareness intensifies. Our sight sharpens. Our impulses quicken. Our perception of pain diminishes. Our immune system mobilizes with increased activation. We become prepared—physically and psychologically—for fight or flight. We scan and search our environment, “looking for the enemy.”


 What you should be concerned about.

These stress hormones are public enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, depression, anxiety, mental illness and lower life expectancy.

This response is definitely handy should you run into a bear in the woods or come upon a car accident and suddenly require an abnormal amount of strength. The problem arises when the modern day bear looks more like a project deadline or rush hour traffic or triggers from something traumatic from your past. The hormone is metabolized in your body by muscle movement of extreme physical exertion and once this cycle is complete, your body returns to a state of calm. If you are stuck in a board room or stuck in traffic, it might not be appropriate to go screaming down the hall or start running through the parked cars. Thus causing the hormones to linger. Even worse if they are being triggered daily, you are in an environment that only increases the chances of endangering your health as mentioned above.


Ideally you can attempt to change your lifestyle and remove all things in your environment that cause you stress.

Changing our external environment This includes any action we take that helps make the environment we live in safer. Physical safety means getting out of toxic, noisy or hostile environments. Emotional safety means surrounding ourselves with friends and people who genuinely care for us, learning better communication skills, time management skills, getting out of toxic jobs and hurtful relationships.

Changing our perceptions of reality. This includes any technique whereby we seek to change our mental perspectives, our attitudes, our beliefs and our emotional reactions to the events that happen to us.


How I can help you.

I am a Certified Hypnotherapist and I can be your guide to help you let go of any triggers from the past that are causing this Fight or flight response to be triggered. Hypnosis is a natural reoccurring phenomena that happens to each of us daily. The experience feels much like daydreaming. This may have happened to you while you were driving, reading a book or while watching TV.

Please feel free to reach out anytime.


Tracy Semple
Certified Hypnotherapist

Empowered Minds

Hypnosis & Anxiety-Learn More
By | 2017-08-15T11:57:03+00:00 August 15th, 2017|

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