The flight or fight response is a series of physiological changes that get triggered in a person’s body when the person is in danger (or perceived danger). The automatic process that follows is really quite simple, logical and is designed to help you survive:
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What Happens - The Flight or Fight Response
This state is meant to last for a short period of time until the threat has passed. Obviously, if you remain in this state for a long period of time, it will have an adverse effect on your physical and mental health.
But if the perceived threat never eventuates, instead of going into recovery mode, you go into survival mode where the panic reactions are maintained for longer than they would occur naturally. Your adrenal system stays on alert in your body, there is an expectation of a recurrence and your mind has been hijacked by your emotional response. (This response has been termed an 'emotional hijacking' by Daniel Goleman).
NOTE: This is important information if you want to overcome the flight or fight response