Fight or Flight

The fight or flight response is a reaction that Is activated In emergency situations. It is an acute stress response that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either physically or mentally. During this response there is an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. After the threat Is gone it takes about 20-60 minutes before the body returns to its pre-arousal state. The fight or flight response can be caused by an Instance such as a man being attacked by a grizzly bear. In this real life scenario one of the 3 things may occur, either you will fight, flee, or freeze.

A man and his friends are on a hunting trip in the mountains. The man sees an angry grizzly bear at the camp site running straight at him. The man’s first instinct Is to try and fight off the grizzly bear. In the fight or flight response our body under goes a series of dramatic changes. Our pupils dilate, our awareness Intensifies, and impulses quicken. Chemicals are released into the bloodstream that allow the body extra energy and fuel for running or fighting. The second option the man has in a situation like this is to try and flee the grizzly.

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The same response from the flght or light reaction that gave him energy to fight, would give him the same energy boost to out run his attacker. A sequence of nerve cells firing occur and chemicals like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are released into the bloodstream. This chemical reaction creates an immense amount of muscle movement and physical exertion. The last response that has been most recently added to the fight or flight is, freeze. The freeze response works differently. The freeze response comes into play when we become aware that there Is no hope for surviving an attack.

In this case If he man was to freeze and “play dead” the man would sustain sever injuries but would most likely survive the attack. The fight or flight response that has activated the chemical response would then allow him to endure the pain and still manage to lie perfectly still. The fght or flight response is a survival tool that has been used for many years. It Is a response that we do not have to activate ourselves; it Is natural response that is prompted out of fear. When it comes to an emergency situation our bodies will know it we need to fight, flee, or freeze.