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The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system that regulates the body's involuntary processes. While its primary job is to control the body's flight, fight, or freeze response, it is always active at some level to help maintain homeostasis. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the body to feed and breed, while the parasympathetic nervous system encourages rest and digest, maintaining balance in the body.

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1. Amygdala

The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to a stressful event. It is the emotional or irrational part, while the neocortex is the thinking or rational part. When the amygdala gets the message that there is a fight, flight, or freeze situation, it prevents the message from getting to the neocortex. This is called an amygdala hijack and explains why people act irrationally when scared or emotional.

fight flight freeze Trevor Williams / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.