Adrenalin. Adrenaline. Epinephrine. Whatever you want to call it, and whichever way you want to spell it, they all mean the same thing. Either way, Adrenalin is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands found in our bodies to regulate the stress response cycle (a.k.a. fear response cycle, or "fight and flight", or "fight/flight/freeze"). This means that when we perceive something as threatening, or when we're in actual danger, our body will release adrenalin into our blood stream to begin to activate the stress response cycle. The reason why our body does this in times of threat or stress is to ensure that we are in an optimal position to handle the threat or stress based on knowledge we already have. Now this can be both a good thing and a not so good thing. Having a shot of adrenalin released into your blood stream can be helpful if we need to get out of the way of danger really quickly, however having adrenalin being released more often can feel exhausting.
There are a few ways we can ensure that our stress response cycle is not over-active. Maintaining our levels of stress is one method, as are ensuring we get adequate amounts of exercise, sleep, and that we are eating a balanced diet. Other things we can do is to monitor our self-talk. Monitoring self-talk is important since our minds can do a very good job at "running away" from us when we perceive things as threatening, risky, or "dangerous". Every had the "what if...." thoughts, or the, "yeah but...." thoughts? Well these types of thoughts are generally automatic and they occur quite quickly. Slowing them down, or learning tools to help sit with them by creating a healthy distance between you and the unhelpful thoughts can be a powerful way to help manage the thoughts. If learning to monitor your self-talk and manage your levels of stress is something you would like more help with then give us a call to book an appointment with any one of our clinicians on (03) 9882-8874.
~ Until next time - Dr Celin Gelgec and the Team at Melbourne Wellbeing Group.