Stress and Anxiety – Flight or Fight?

flight-flightOne of the biological responses we have is, “fight or flight” response.  Whilst we were living in caves and a wild animal might be attack us, these responses were needed.  We had to gear our bodies to run, in order to survive.  It was a fantastic strategy in those days but today, it’s no good – we don’t have wild animals running after us.  

So the very response of our bodies to make our muscles tense, dilate our eyes, shut blood away from our gut into our extremities etc. have been terrific.  They were useful in those circumstances, but all of that secretion of cortisol and other stressful hormones, when we are exposed to these long term, have terrible effects on our bodies.  

Cortisol inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being stored, favouring its immediate use. Cortisol narrows the arteries while the epinephrine increases heart rate, both of which force blood to pump harder and faster.  

Some of the effects on our bodies are:


  • Loss of bone density
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Hardening of the arteries in the brain
  • Impaired learning
  • Blood Sugar Imbalance and Diabetes
  • Weight Gain and Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Immune System Suppression
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Fertility Problems
  • Other Issues Long-term stress and elevated cortisol may also be linked to insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disorders, dementia, depression, and other conditions.


All these have a relation to fight or flight response.

The way the psychology works is that, we seem to have a surge of cortisol very quickly.  When we have a threat, we very quickly start breaking down the useful hormone of cell growth called DHEA and start manufacturing cortisol.  

When we reverse the cycle and reduce those emotional traumas and stresses, the reverse happens, our body starts breaking down cortisol very quickly within 2, 3 minutes and start building DHEA which, helps our cell growth.  Low DHEA deficit is valid over every disease.  The chronic stress depletes our DHEA, which keeps our cells unhealthy and diseased.  

So what is the modern day, “fight or flight”?

In short, the theory is that with our ever-stressed, fast-paced lifestyle, we have continuous anxiety, stress and tension.  Our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly, which can wreak havoc on our health. They can leave us feeling like we are out of control and out of our mind.

Stress and tension alter the way our brain and body function to such an extent that the littlest thing can send us into a tailspin. When we feel anxious and stressed, we lose our natural ability to think clearly and effectively. Our ability to cope efficiently with day-to-day life is also compromised.

This whole-body process, mediated by hormones and the immune system, identifies cortisol as one of the many players. But isolating its role helps put into context the many complex mechanisms that lead to specific physiological damage.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is the art and science of opening your heart and validating your head.

An EFT session helps us release tension and anxiety and allows us to become more peaceful and relaxed. Regular use of this process can help us inhibit the production of the hormone that causes stress and anxiety. As the individual addresses and resolves the situation, hormone levels return to normal.

“Worry and stress affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the heart action.” Charles W. Mayo, M.D.