Joe Barry Panic Away

Understanding The Fight Or Flight Response

A panic attack will have unique characteristics for each indidual, but the human body will have an eerily common response.

Your heart begins to pound, as the numbness in your extremities becomes noticeable. You think you're having a heart attack. Seconds pass, but they feel like hours. You wait for your body to give in. You feel dizzy. Out of breath. You're going to collapse...

By the time help arrives, or you're in front of a doctor, you feel perfectly fine. Your head is clear, heart beating in tune. Nothings wrong. You feel embarrassed more than anything.

You walk away, back to your everyday life not understanding what happened. Then the feeling returns. You're alone. Heart pounding. Numbness.

It's a cycle of panic and recovery that frustrates you to no end.

But what is it?

It's a type of "routine" your body cycles through in response to what it perceives as extreme danger.

It's called the fight or flight response.

You cannot control the physical response to danger, because it's an instinct developed to protect us. Imagine someone in a face to face confrontation. They're in danger and will have to protect them self.

What your body does to prepare is not a conscious decision. It happens too fast. No one says to their body before they get attacked, "Body, get ready. Something bad is going to happen".

It's a subconscious routine. Blood is drawn away from the extremities and into the larger muscle groups. It happens naturally.

Your body knows which muscles will be used the most when taking evasive action so it sends those muscle groups the largest blood supply. That's why you get the numbness in your extremities.

Your heart pounds because it's in a race to fuel the muscles needed for defense. It's a very natural response to danger. What your body does in response to extreme panic is very normal.

It's the misinterpretation of what represents extreme danger that needs to be addressed.

You don't want to eliminate your fight or flight response because chances are, one day you'll need it to save your life. What you want to do, is control when that response is triggered.

A more in-depth explanation about the fight or flight response can be found in the full version of the Panic Away system.

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