The flight or fight response, also called the “acute stress response” was first described by Walter Cannon in the 1920s as a theory that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system. The response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.
An example:Suppose that you are out on a picnic with your family and decide to go off on a hike by yourself. As you come around a bend in the trail you suddenly see a large snake that is coiled and prepared to strike. You will probably recognize this as a threat and your body will go into a stress reaction. You feel your muscles tense as your heart rate and breathing increase. You body is preparing you to act by either fighting or running away.
Our body is made to respond to every single situation in life with either flight or fight reponse. But, I think our mind is more motivated by FRIGHT than fight or flight. I have been motivated to fight or flee away from a situation because of fear of the consequence. When I was young, the fear of my parents’ bickerings made me study hard and always be the first ranker in the class till it became a habit and I was fully motivated to be a winner in every exam . If my Mom had cajoled me , showering all her love and asking me gently to study hard, I doubt if I would have shined in my studies as I did. There are many teenagers who behave strangely , sometimes even harshly just because of the fear of not being accpeted by their community . At the same time, for the same reason, some of them change their characters to be better persons just to get accepted.
Yes, we all know that exercise is good for our health. But, till we see a high cholestrol in our blood report, we are not motivated to join a gym or reduce our intake. It is the fear of a heart attack that motivates you to improve your health. The fear of losing your job makes you work harder at work. Imagine a workplace where everything is very leisurely ..there is no way you will be able to grow in such an environment. Once you know a layoff is on the way, you can see every Tom,Dick and Harry at work .
Ultimately, it is the fear of death that motivates life. The only sure thing about life is death. But, we are all afraid of it and it motivates us to become better, braver souls and enhances our fight responses . It might feel good to say that LOVE is the most intense force in this world . I agree, love is definitely a strong one but in my opinion, FEAR supercedes it as being more forceful.