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How long does the fight or flight response last?

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The fight or flight response was designed to last for as long as it took to survive a life-threatening situation. So it is triggered almost instantaneously when a danger is encountered in the environment, and it can last for minutes to hours, until you are safe, when you had either dispatched the danger (fight) or run away from the danger (flight).

Unfortunately, when you have chronic stress and anxiety, it can activate your fight or flight response for a long time- for as long as your anxiety and stress is present. So the fight or flight response is activated long-term when you have chronic stress and anxiety. The problem with this is that the fight or flight response was not designed to last long-term, as it is a short-term survival response, where your body mobilizes all its resources to overcome an imminent danger. But when your body is prepared long-term for imminent survival, your body starts to break down, and you can develop medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

The good news is that you can stop the chronic activation of the fight or flight response by addressing your stressors and treating your anxiety. Please visit the rest of AnxietyBoss.com for more help and information on stress, anxiety, and the fight or flight response.


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