BREAK IT DOWN: AN ADRENALINE RUSH

(Health) You've felt it pounding heart, flushing skin, butterflies. Here's what actually happening in your body and how you can use that energy for good:

Prep your body for action
During an adrenaline rush, y our system releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, explains Marla Deibler, a clinical psychologist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They get you ready to act. But if your cortisol spikes, too high, it can overwhelm you or make you feel stressed. Working out before a big event will regulate your levels of the stress hormone, making the experience more productive overall.

Maximize the rush
Once you're feeling the buzz, you can make the most of it with a simple mental trick. "Take a few seconds to appreciate what's happening to your body," says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., the author of Better Than Perfect. Focus on your heart rate or breathing speeding up, and remind yourself that it's a sign that your body is giving you the energy boost you need to succeed.

Stretch it out
An adrenaline rush lasts about 20 minutes. The influx of hormones may leave you feeling shaky afterward; if so, breathe deeply for a few minutes, or take a yoga class to regain equilibrium. Deibler says. If you're too keyed up for that, run or a Tabata workout will burn off excess energy.

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