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How Your Body Protects You

In order to keep you safe, your body has to get revved up to deal with danger.  Press on different parts of the body to find out the cool ways your body changes to protect you from danger.

Heart When your body is preparing itself for action, it makes sure that blood and oxygen is being pumped to major muscles like your biceps or thighs. This gives you the energy and power to strike out at danger or to run away as fast as you can.
Thigh Muscles When faced with danger, your body tenses up, so that you are ready to spring into action. The muscles in your legs tense up, so you can run away, fight back by kicking, or hold still.
Arm Muscles When faced with danger, your body tenses up, so that you are ready to spring into action. The muscles in your arms tense up, so you can strike out at danger, pull yourself away, or hold still.
Fingers When faced with danger, blood from your fingers starts to move towards bigger muscles, like your biceps. These bigger muscles need the energy to help you fight or run. Your fingers may feel numb, cold or tingly as the blood moves away from them.
Sweat Glands Your body works hard to help you get ready for danger. It takes a lot of energy, which can cause your body to heat up. Sweat from places like your underarms, palms or forehead cools down your body.
Head When you breathe too fast or too deep, you may feel a little lightheaded. This is calledhyperventilating. Don’t worry. It’s not dangerous!  Your body is just trying to get more oxygen and blood to your large muscles so you can fight, run, or hold still.
Stomach When your body thinks that you are in danger, it puts all its resources into protecting you. Other systems in your body (like your digestive system) slow down. This is because your body thinks it’s more important to give you the energy to deal with the danger, than to digest that sandwich you had for lunch. Of course, this means you might get an upset or sore stomach, while that sandwich sits in some stomach acid before it gets digested once the danger passes.
Toes When faced with danger, blood from your toes starts to move towards bigger muscles like your thighs. This is because those bigger muscles need the energy to help you fight, run or freeze. Your toes may feel numb, cold or tingly as the blood moves away from them.
Eyes When confronted with danger, your pupils get bigger to let in more light in order for you to better spot the danger. This can make things seem brighter or fuzzier and you may even see some black spots or other visual effects.

All of these changes are normal. Although sometimes they can feel really uncomfortable, they are NOT dangerous. Nobody has ever become very sick or died from anxiety alone. It is also important to remember that anxiety always goes away eventually – even if you don’t do anything.