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What are Stress Responses?


Stress is like an alarm system in the body – it goes off when we feel threatened, angry, or challenged. This is referred to as the “fight, flight, or freeze” response.

a visual depiction of a circle with four components and arrows following the circular motion. First the brain interprets a threat, then the body reacts with a stress response, and then stress hormones are released which results in increased heart rate, sweating etc. Then the cycle begins again.

Stress response cycle

What happens to the body under stress?

Blood sugar rises to give you more energy. a diagram of red platelets
Breathing speeds up to give more oxygen. a woman at a desk rubbing her eyes
Heart rate increases. a red heart on an orange background with a heart rate line in white across the image
Blood is diverted to large muscle groups. a diagram of red blood cells within what appears to be an artery
Perspiration increases. close up of a person's eyes and forehead with sweat beading across their brow
Stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are released to give the body a burst of energy. a drawing on a chalkboard of the chemical structure of cortisol
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