How to control an adrenaline rush

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Adrenalin is a body's natural response to stress, anger or fear and in many cases is a useful defence mechanism. Psychologists call an adrenalin rush the "flight or fight" response. It can give you a boost of energy to get yourself clear of danger, or provide added power to fight combatants.

When Adrenaline gets out of control, it can get us into deeper trouble causing fights to escalate and even causing trouble sleeping or concentration problems. Depending on the reason for your body's response to outside stimulus, there are various ways to combat the effects of an adrenalin rush.

Hit the gym. Providing natural adrenalin rushes during heavy workouts allows your body to control it better in high stress situations at work, in traffic or in a confrontation. The heightened awareness of your physical abilities also gives you peace of mind in knowing you can handle any situation so you are less likely to feel threatened by annoyances. Keep a set of workout tapes at home for a nightly aerobic workout that will relieve stress from a hectic day.

Breathe slowly. By concentrating on your breathing pattern you not only take your mind off of the aggravations around you but slow your body's response to the stress of the moment.

Soothe your soul. Play soothing music while stuck in rush hour traffic or trying to calm down from an office altercation. Avoid harsh, pounding rhythms that may heighten your emotions.

Recognise the symptoms. Even when an adrenalin rush is a good thing, prior to a planned fight, race, or other strenuous activity, the anxiety that leads up to the event can trigger a premature release of adrenalin that leaves you feeling drained just when you need the most energy. Keep track of your vital signs including heart rate and blood pressure and any time they begin to elevate, employ relaxation methods to bring them back to normal so that the rush does not occur before you even begin your event.

Consult your physician if daily activities with a high level of stress prevent you from falling asleep at night due to continued adrenalin rushes. This phenomenon occurs because the body resists relaxing when it feels threat may still be eminent.

Count to 10. There's a reason this age-old advice is still alive today. It only takes your body three minutes to react to adrenalin, but likewise it only takes three minutes to regain control. If you focus on calming yourself down by counting to 10 in a controlled manner, it gives your mind a moment to realise there is no reason to fight or take flight, and it will regulate the hormone release to reflect the new state of awareness.