Stress rarely gets any good press, but its effects on the body don’t always have to be detrimental. When your adrenal glands dump the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream to create an “adrenaline rush,” your body is activating a heightened state of physical and mental alertness. As long as it’s not long-lasting, that burst of human jet fuel can be a good thing. Here’s how.
1. IT MIGHT HELP YOU ON A DEADLINE.
Know anyone who believes they can think fast on their feet? It’s not just their imagination. When the body is flooded with adrenaline, the brain is engaged, focused, and able to handle cognitive tasks more quickly. Researchers have compared the boost in alertness to drinking coffee.
2. YOUR VISION GETS BETTER.
Because adrenaline is intended to prime the body to react to a perceived threat, one consequence of its release is the dilation of the pupils in your eyes. When your pupils expand, you’ll find your vision improves by letting in more light. Glaucoma sufferers once took synthesized adrenaline to decrease pressure in the eye.
3. YOU’LL BREATHE EASIER.
While stress may have you feeling tightly wound, adrenaline tells smooth muscles in the body to relax. That includes the bronchioles in the lungs, which can make respiration easier. That’s why asthma sufferers usually produce a lot of adrenaline in their bodies, and sometimes get injected with even more during an attack.
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