Imagine yourself on a highway driving at a speed of 110 km/hr and suddenly a cyclist comes in front of you. What is your first reaction? Surely to push the brake as hard as you can, or to turn a little to avoid the cyclist, whatever the traffic permits. But on close observance you find yourself sweating, your heart racing, or body shaking, all these are signs of an adrenaline rush.
What is Adrenaline?
Adrenaline is also known as epinephrine is the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in our body. This hormone is in turn secreted into the bloodstream which stimulates the nervous system and messages are sent to different organs in the body such as the heart and the lungs, thus causing:
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Enlarged pupils
- Shaky limbs
- Excessive sweating
- Decreased sensitivity to pain
What Adrenaline Does?
Secretion of adrenaline causes a ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. It helps to keep you safe and react quickly in unpleasant situations, triggering the fight response. However, the fear of public speaking or sitting on a roller coaster might stimulate the flight response and make you flee from those situations. In case you are injured and trapped, adrenaline causing the decreased sensitivity to pain would help you to forget the pain and look for a solution to get out of the situation.
Overdose Of Adrenaline
Some people love the rush of adrenaline as it creates excitement too. This pushes them to take part in various adventure sports and test their boundaries. However, prolonged secretion of adrenaline caused by continuous stressful conditions at work, at home or anywhere, is not good for the mind and the body. Excessive adrenaline can result in:
- Muscle tension
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
The adrenaline rush is a healthy and normal response of the body to a stressful and unsafe situation. However, it is imperative to maintain a balance and relieve stress if one is leading an over-stressed life. Some activities that can help us keep our adrenaline levels in check are:
- Meditation: Mindful meditation of even 10 minutes a day is helpful in regulating stress and in turn adrenaline.
- Deep Breathing: When one breathes deeply it sends a signal of calmness and well being to the mind, which in turn will reduce the secretion of adrenaline.
- Daily Exercise: Exercise helps to reduce stress and release the ‘feel good’ hormone. Thus, even a short walk in the open relaxes the mind.
- Mindful Rest: Sleep is the time when the mind is not focused on anything. The body gets this time to repair and rejuvenate.
- Healthy Eating: Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains and proteins helps to keep stress at bay. A low sugar content in the diet is what we should aim for.
- Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol intake: Caffeine and alcohol interfere with the minds correct perception of emotions hence the mind may not correctly sense a ‘fight or flight’ situation under there influence.
A Word from H2F Care
The body rarely faces Adrenal insufficiency unless there is a genetic disorder, infection, or steroids. However, it is the overdose that one needs to check. In the beginning, an overdose of adrenaline might make you feel good but keeping the body under stressful conditions for long is definitely not beneficial for anyone.