Fear kicks your fight-or-flight response into overdrive. All of the things that we think of as longer-term interests get diverted to the immediate interest: fight or flight. The fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. The term 'fight-or-flight' represents the choices that our ancient ancestors had when faced with a danger in their environment. They could either fight or flee. In either case, the physiological and psychological response to stress prepares the body to react to the danger.
Like an animal trying to avoid being eaten by a predator, all of your body’s resources get diverted toward one goal: staying alive. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you breathe faster and your muscles tense up. Your pupils dilate so you can see the threat more clearly.
The fight-or-flight response plays a critical role in how we deal with stress and danger in our environment. Essentially, the response prepares the body to either fight or flee the threat. It is also important to note that the response can be triggered due to both real and imaginary threats.
Either are real or imaginary, the threats should be treated with calm. This is the only thing to remember: remain calm inside and be rational. If you remain calm, your reaction will be much more efficient and quicker.
What Fear Does to Your Eyes
Like in the cartoons, when you’re scared, your eyes open wider so you can better see and process threats, but you miss the gap that’s right in your face. Because you are not looking for real dangers, you scout for something threatening and invisible. Remain prepared for the visible ones and that will keep you safe.
What Fear Does to Your Neck + Shoulders
Your muscles tense when you’re freaked out, which can wreak havoc on your bike handling. To reduce this, relax your shoulders—performing some shrugs or shoulder rolls should help you loosen up.
What Fear Does to Your Hands + Feet
You might be familiar with your hands sweating when you're feeling scared, but you might not know that fear and anxiety can also cause your hands and feet to feel cold. While the fight or flight response changes are active, they can cause a wide range of sensations and symptoms, including having cold hands and feet (or just cold hands, or just cold feet), the Anxiety Centre explained on its website. That’s because your body pulls blood away from the skin to aid major muscles and your heart and lungs. This prepares them to do hard work to help you flee.
What Fear Does to Your Heart
Being prepared for the flee step, the body releases adrenaline when you’re scared, which triggers a rise in heart rate. It’s meant to prepare us to be strong and fast. Breath calmly and the brain will send the impulse that everything is alright and your heart will get slower to normal. Don’t worry, nothing is happening if you heart beat faster than usual.
What Fear Does to Your Bladder
Some people can pee in their pants when they’re frightened. What’s going on? Under stressful conditions, however, the inhibitory signals from the frontal lobe can themselves be overridden by the limbic system, a combination of brain areas that controls the famous “fight or flight” response. When we become stressed or anxious, electrical signals from the limbic system become so intense that the brainstem has trouble following the frontal lobe’s commands. That’s why many people urinate more frequently before important exams or in the starting corral of a marathon. In life-threatening situations, the limbic system’s orders become so urgent that you can’t even make it to the bathroom. Make a stop and go to a bathroom, while try to ease your anxiety with slowly, calmly breathing.
What Fear Does to Your Skin
Fear can cause skin rashes, this is actually a symptom of fear. According to the website Hives.org, prolonged stress and anxiety can weaken your immune system and cause your body to break out in hives or rashes.
Fear Can Cloud Your Ability to Think Clearly
Feeling fearful or anxious can cause you to become overwhelmed, which can cloud your ability to think clearly, remember things, and make decisions. In short, fear gives you brain fog. According the UW Medicine blog Right as Rain, fear basically scrambles your brain.
Dear bikers, try to respect few simple and basic rules of cycling pros, and that’s essential you need to keep you safe.