Explain how the hypothalamus of the brain and the autonomic nervous system allow us to fight or flee in a stressful situation. Discuss a situation in which you may have had a fight or flight experience.
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The hypothalamus helps control emotions (pleasure, excitement, fear, anger, sexual arousal) and bodily responses to emotions. The hypothalamus communicates to the rest of the body through the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary body functions such as breathing, blood pressure, heart beat, etc. One component of the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, triggers the fight or flight response. The hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals through the autonomic nerves to the adrenal glands (Harvard Health Publishing,(2010-2018).
I have had the fight or flight response triggered multiple times in my life, but the time I remember the most is when my oldest daughter was two, she was playing outside at her grandparents house and out of know where I heard her screaming. My fight or flight response kicked in and I immediately took off running towards her. Her father, who had always been a faster runner than me, couldn’t keep up with me at that moment. Fortunately she wasn’t hurt, she was being chased by some baby banty roosters and was terrified of them. Luckily they had had their spurs removed so they was harmless.
Harvard Health Publishing,(2010-2018). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response
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