Resistance stage

Alarm phase is very energy consuming for the organism, that’s why it doesn’t last long, just a few minutes. If the stressor hasn’t disappeared during this time, hypothalamus activates the second stress phase. The signal travels from hypothalamus through pituitary gland (which decided what amount of cortisol should be produced) down to adrenal glands which then release stress hormone. This phase is called the resistance phase and cortisol – another stress hormone – takes controls over from adrenaline. 

After the stress response (you fought it or escaped) body needs to restore extra resources used up in the previous stage. You can either end your GAS process here, if your body fully restores, or you can enter into the next stage.

When the organism doesn’t receive enough time to restore and the stress persists (or new stress comes in), you stay in fight-or-flight mode. This elevates cortisol and uses up even more body resources to respond to stress. These resources instead could be redirected back to sustaining body functions.   

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