The Fight Flight Freeze Response to Stress!!
….And how it can hold you back from your potential.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are responsible for the secretion of adrenaline, cortisol and hormones that are required for proper function during times of stress, whether it be physical, chemical or mental.
When you become stressed the brain sends signals to the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol to create a burst of energy in order to run, fight or freeze. This in turn enables us to get out of trouble if we are in physical danger or under emotional threat. Anytime the brain perceives the physical self and /or the ego self to be in danger it will create this adrenal reaction.
Negative belief systems are the biggest cause of adrenal reactions in this day and age. Our physical-self no longer needs to hunt for food or fight lions to stay alive however our ego self is continuously going into battle to meet social standards. E.g. being a good father means..financial success, being a good mother means being the carer and the provider, being a good partner means making their needs the priority, not having a partner means outcaste, having $$ salary means having status in society, having the two kids and the picket fence means acceptance……WHO SAID!!!???. Our social brain is so complex and so riddled with belief systems that set off the adrenal reaction that we are now heading towards an adrenal exhaustion epidemic.
Cortisol is an important hormone in the body for
- glucose metabolism,
- to regulate blood pressure,
- for insulin release for blood sugar maintenance
- immune function, and
- inflammatory response
Although it has other purposes it is know as the stress hormone because of its role in the fight / flight response. This means
- A quick burst of energy
- Heightened memory functions
- A burst of increased immunity
- A lower sensitivity to pain, and it
- Helps maintain homeostatis in the body
All sounds good right? However prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream leads to:-
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances (hyperglycemia)
- Decreased bone density
- Decreased muscle tissue
- Higher blood pressure
- Lowered immunity and inflammation response
- Increased abdominal fat … stroke, heart attacks, cholesterol.
So what’s the answer ………….clear out those old belief systems and replace them with more align healthy ones that serve you for who you are now!!
So to put it simply, Adrenal Exhaustion is also known as Adrenal Fatigue. It is a modern condition that is associated with overwork and high stress.
It would be helpful to identify the triggers in your life which put you into the stress response and actively look at finding techniques and modalities to combat that old fight Flight Freeze system that is no longer serving you. Some simple techniques include learning how to breathe properly when challenging yourself, learn how to meditate to calm the mind and seek out modalities that can access old software programs in your mind and rebalance the chi to reinstate harmony. Kinesiology, Acupuncture, Rebalancing Massage, Yoga, are just a phew of many to consider.