Updated: Mar 3, 2019
Imagine that we are walking along a hiking path, enjoying nature, thinking good thoughts, and suddenly, we hear a rustle in the bushes. Our body thinks, bear (or in Paleo times saber toothed tiger-Oh my). Either way, the hike is ruined along with your underwear and you are now faced with a decision. Is it Bambi or is it a bear? Do I need to run or not. What you are experiencing is called a stressor.
At the same time we are hearing the rustle in the bushes a complex hormonal cascade begins within the body, and the adrenal glands begin to secrete cortisol and adrenalin. The cortisol prepares the body for the fight-or-flight response by flooding the blood with glucose (immediate energy), and inhibits insulin production in an attempt to prevent glucose from being reduced in the blood. The cortisol also shrinks the blood vessels (increasing blood pressure) and the adrenalin increases the heart rate and respirati