Fight or Flight?

Our bodies become tense and alert when something frightens us.

Have you ever wondered why we feel fear? Feeling afraid is a survival mechanism [a system of parts working together]. Our brains are equipped with a fight-or flight response. This response lets us fight a threat or escape danger.

What exactly happens during our body’s fight or flight response? Let’s find out!

  • Our lungs take in air faster. This allows our brains to become more alert.
  • Our brains send a signal for fats and sugars to be released. These nutrients [substances that help the body function properly] supply a burst of energy to our bodies.
  • Our hearts pump more blood to the muscles and brain. This causes our heartbeat to increase.
  • Our pupils dilate [part of the eye that becomes wider] to see better. And the rest of our senses become sharper, too.

Even though it may feel like forever when we are scared, these reactions happen in seconds. Thanks to our fight-or-flight response, we can react quickly and stay safe.

What Do You Think? What is one thing you used to be afraid of when you were younger?

Photo Credit: Design Pics/Con Tanasiuk