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Symptoms, Causes & Stages of Anxiety

The fight or flight response

Anxiety is an integral part of our body’s natural process. All of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives—it is a mechanism that our mind and body use to prepare ourselves for a stressful situation.

The fight or flight response is a process that the brain uses, when it is notified of a threat. This helps us to either confront, escape, hide, or in some cases freeze.

These responses in turn, trigger a range of physical and emotional responses in our body that help us make the decision we see fit for the situation, and see it through.

Evolutionarily, human beings were faced with all kinds of danger. For instance, coming across a tiger while hunting, or gathering food.

A tiger appears.

The person needs to either fight the tiger or run.


For this—the body needs an extra boost of energy, so the brain releases stress hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol.

This triggers different reactions in the body:

The body receives a temporary upgrade—the person is able to make a quick decision, and fight or flee from the tiger.