The human body has been created as a uniquely engineered life form. The body has numerous protective systems to help us to survive attacks from viruses, medical problems, and other people. We have all experienced the “dump” at some point in our lives, and most likely more that once. It is known as an adrenalin rush.
The production of adrenaline occurs in the adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys. Adrenaline is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction to a threat, and it triggers specific processes in the body. For example, it might make the body send extra oxygen to the lungs to aid a person to run away.
As well as allowing a quick escape from danger, adrenaline has other effects on the body. These include decreasing the body’s ability to feel pain, increasing strength temporarily, and sharpening mental focus, which will allow a person to think quickly and form a clear plan to escape a potential threat. The release of adrenaline into the body may sometimes occur when there is no real threat. The hormone has the same effect on the body whether or not the danger is present.
The release of adrenaline into the body occurs very quickly, usually within a few seconds. It goes away once the possible threat has disappeared. This speed is what gives an adrenaline rush its name.
Adrenaline triggers the following changes in the body increasing the heart rate, which may lead to a feeling of the heart racing redirecting blood toward the muscles, causing a surge in energy or shaking limbs relaxing the airways to give the muscles more oxygen, which may cause breathing to become shallow increasing the speed at which the brain works to plan an escape route widening the pupils to let more light enter the eyes.
Side effects may include sweating as a reaction to stress, feeling lightheaded due to changes in blood and oxygen supply, and a change in temperature as a result of the blood redirection. The effects of adrenaline on the body can last for up to 1 hour after an adrenaline dump.
Why is this important to know? When your heart is above 115 BPM (Condition Yellow); your fine motor skills will begin to deteriorate. As your heart rate elevates to greater than 145 BPM (Condition Red) complex motor skills deteriorate. You can see why it is important You can train yourself to operate at these heart rates and higher, since many warriors, first responders, and competitors perform at this level every day during their performance of their duties.
To understand what is happening to your body during an event that evokes fear, the fight or flight reaction will help you to establish a plan of training to help with how you can cope during an adrenalin dump. We will discuss those coping plans to give you the plan to use in helping you to handle “the dump.”
“Courage is the ability to act undeterred by your fear.”Author