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If you found yourself watching a scary horror movie recently, you may have noticed the characters respond one of two ways when encountering a scary person or situation – attack or run!  When we are afraid or feel like we are in danger, we often go into  fight-or-flight mode.  It’s a very human response.  Our brain does this thinking it is helping you to survive. 

The problem is we often go into fight or flight mode not when we are grave danger, but with every day stress and anxiety.

The more the fight or flight response is triggered, the more likely it will be triggered more frequently. It will take less – not more – to activate it. 

For instance, you are already stressed and then something seemingly small happens and just makes you freak out or lose it.

Overall, it’s not a healthy place to be if we regularly are in fight or flight mode.

So what can you do:

Exercise – the fight or flight response naturally gives us energy to react – either fighting or running.  So one way to deal with your stress, is to exercise.  It’s a simple and effective way to calm yourself down.

Also – remind yourself, you are okay – that you are safe.  Often times are minds can run wild when we are stressed.  Leading to even physical pain.  Remind yourself that your body is just preparing to run or fight. Tell yourself you are okay and you will be okay.

These things will hopefully help.  And if they persist or get worse, seek professional help.


**Eric has his Masters in Counseling.  When not on B105.7, Eric works as a private practice counselor**

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Xalanx