When stimulated by an external trigger or potential threat, the nervous system activates our fight or flight response, which carries messages to the rest of the body (autonomic system) and we release large amounts of adrenaline in order to mobilize the body for a physical response. 

Survival Mode

Produced by the adrenal gland, adrenaline functions both as a hormone as well as a neurotransmitter. Perceived physical and emotional threats, whether real or imagined will trigger the survival mechanism. By design, the survival response is only supposed to last for a short period of time until the threat has passed, however, it is not common in our modern world that most humans regularly face the real and natural dangers that this mechanism was built in for.

Chronic Stress

Instead of natural or life threatening dangers, we are chronically putting out high levels of adrenaline due to continuing and recurring low-level stressors such as EMF pollution, noise, chemical toxins in the air, water and soil, psychic disturbances from family and relational stress, financial burdens, as well as overworking and limited rest or sleep in accordance to our natural rhythms. Physically, our bodies release adrenaline in response to all of these things, as well as the innumerable count of others not mentioned, even though they are not life threatening. Adrenaline will then stimulate the release of cortisol, which first acts to increase the blood sugar levels in the body so we have more energy to deal with the stress burden(s). 

Dietary Habits

Another reason our body releases adrenaline is when the brain is not getting enough glucose, which is its main source of energy. Adrenaline acts to mediate the process of gluconeogenesis, where sugar is produced from protein. 

In addition to the burdens of chronic stress burning through our available blood sugar and prompting the release of more adrenaline to keep us alert & fuel the brain, our dietary habits can exacerbate this cycle. If we consume a diet consisting of high glycemic foods and sugar, the body will then release insulin to help regulate the level of sugar in the blood pushing excess sugar into the cells, thus signalling another drop in blood sugar and thus instigating another release of adrenaline.


  • EMF

What does excess adrenaline do?

Prolonged excess adrenaline will lead to hyperadrenalism, which is a common denominator in the following health challenges:

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Metabolic syndrome

  • Thyroid disease

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety 

  • Migraines 

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

  • IBS

  • Chronic interstitial cystitis (kidneys)

  • RLS

  • Insomnia

  • Autoimmune disease

  • and countless others!

Reducing Adrenaline

The obvious answer to reducing adrenaline would be to manage our stress, which will certainly and always work in our favor, so the first step is identifying the main contributors to our current daily stress burdens. Many of them can be eliminated completely once we have brought an awareness to them, and others can be managed by (a) limiting our exposure to the stress, (b) intercepting and transforming the way we perceive unavoidable stress, and (c) implementing healthy and constructive ways to help our bodies to adapt to the stress. 

Identify the Stress

Step 1: Identify your stressors by creating an extensive list and writing down every stressor, big or small. I use the 5x5 method (see image), which I created to help clients simplify this process. You can learn more about the 5 main stressors here.

Eliminate Stress

Step 2: From your list, use a red pen to circle the stressors that you can eliminate. On a separate piece of paper, write each of them down with a description of how you will eliminate them. Examples here could be: going to bed late, alcohol, plastic containers, toxic chemical cleaners, not exercising, etc.

Reduce Your Stress

Step 3: Using a blue or green pen, circle the stressors that you can limit your exposure to. These are stress burdens that we cannot eliminate or avoid entirely, but we can limit or reduce. Examples could be: chlorinated pools, EMF exposure, screen time, air pollution, noise, energy vampires that always want you to listen to or solve their problems, etc. Write these down separately with a description of ways you can and will limit your exposure to them.

Align Yourself

Step 4: Return to your original list and highlight the stressors that you feel you cannot avoid. These may be identified from any task, responsibility, circumstance or relationship in your life that creates stress and also which you feel there is no solution to. It could be: health challenges, a job or boss you despise, the death of a loved one or caring for someone who is ill, school work or a strained family relationship. The world is what you think it is,  and therefore will always mirror your thoughts about it back to you. If we are stressed about a health challenge, usually because we are focused solely on the pain, discomfort, inconvenience, and upheavals caused by it- all which are valid, however, if we are identifying the health challenges in relation to all factors in our lives, we cannot see beyond it. Simple changes to internal dialogues can make a huge impact. For instance, instead of saying “I am so tired of feeling this way,” you can say, “I am so excited to feel good in my body again,” and imagine what you will be doing when you feel good. Redirecting your energy to what you want, rather than what you hate, brings you closer to harmonizing with the frequencies of what you want, which ultimately invites that reality.

Adaptogenic Habits

Step 5: Create a new list with the action items you can, and know you will do in order to help your body adapt to the stressors in your life. This list will consist of dietary changes, adaptogenic supplements such as l-theanine, rhodiola, and ashwagandha, breath work, tai chi, music and/or binaural beats, cold plunge and/or sauna, morning walk, meditation, painting. 

In Health, 

Freedom & Truth

Sara Gustafson PhD, HLC

Wait! Before you go there's more.

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