How to Control an Adrenaline Rush

Two Methods:Practicing Relaxation TechniquesChanging Lifestyle Habits

An adrenaline rush is when your adrenal glands pump an excess amount of adrenaline into your body in response to high amounts of stress or anxiety. You may experience a wide range of symptoms that are similar to panic attacks including racing pulse or pounding heart, increased respiration, or dizziness.[1] Although adrenaline rushes can be uncomfortable and scary, they are not dangerous.[2] By employing relaxation techniques or making lifestyle changes, you may be able to decrease the frequency and intensity of adrenaline rushes.[3]

Method 1
Practicing Relaxation Techniques

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    Employ deep breathing. Deep breathing exercises, which is also called pranayama, can naturally help dissolve tension and help you relax.[4] Do a few deep breathing exercises to help yourself relax and refocus yourself as well as alleviate other symptoms of an adrenaline rush.
    • Deep breathing can help your body distribute oxygen to your body, which can reduce heart rate and normalize your pulse. It will also help relax tense muscles that may be exacerbating the adrenaline rush.[5]
    • Inhale and exhale completely and in a balanced manner through your nose. For example, you would inhale for a count of four, hold for two, counts, and then exhale completely to a count of four. You can vary the counts according to your abilities.[6]
    • To get the most from deep breathing, sit upright, with your shoulders back, feet flat on the ground, and avoid slouching. Put you hands on your belly and practice breathing slowly making the stomach move against the hands. When you exhale, tighten your stomach muscles and breathe out through pursed lips. Consciously feel the diaphragm move up and down as you breathe.
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    Count to 10—or 20. When you are feeling stressed, anxious or having an adrenaline rush, remove yourself from the situation and count to ten. Counting can help your mind to focus on something other than situation.[7]
    • When you focus on something other than the stressful situation, your body may stop producing adrenaline.
    • If necessary, count to twenty and repeat the procedure as often as you need to.[8]
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    Practice progressive muscle relaxation. If you notice stress or anxiety triggering a rush of adrenaline, practice relaxing your whole body to bring yourself down. Lie on the ground or sit down and begin clenching and relaxing each muscle in your body.[9] Start with your feet:
    • Tighten and contract each muscle in your body for five seconds starting at your feet. Then let the muscles slowly ease into deep relaxation. After 10 seconds, tighten your leg muscles for another five seconds and then let them relax.[10]
    • Repeat this succession until to finish with your head.[11]
    • Move on to the muscles in your legs. Do the same process for each muscle group, making your way slowly up your body towards your head.
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    Cultivate positive thoughts. Negativity can exacerbate stress, tension, and anxiety, and may make adrenaline rushes more acute.[12] Framing any situation in a more positive manner may help you overcome and control subsequent adrenaline rushes or panic attacks.[13]
    • Framing is a behavioral technique that can shape the ways in which you handle specific situations by rendering them positive scenario.[14]
    • For example, you may find yourself dealing with an angry customer at your job. Imagine that the best possible outcome is making the customer happier by solving the problem. This can help you get through the situation in the most positive manner and may keep you from getting a panic attack.[15]
    • Another way to use the process of visualizing a positive outcome is by imaging a very peaceful scene, such as a field of flowers, and placing yourself in the scene.
    • You can also try practicing mindfulness. This is the process of recognizing your thinking and how it makes your feel in that moment, without judgement.[16]
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    Find humor and positive in any situation. Most difficult situations can have some positive and humorous moments. Although they may not be immediately clear to you, being able to recognize and laugh at them can help you to relax and avoid adrenaline rushes.[17]
    • Some studies have demonstrated that positivity can contribute significantly to happiness.[18]
    • For example, if you fall and cut your elbow, don’t focus on the cut or a tear in your clothing. Instead, laugh at your clumsiness or something else humorous that happened in the situation.

Method 2
Changing Lifestyle Habits

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    Control factors in life that are causing you stress. Many things are beyond our control, but there are some things (namely yourself and your actions and decisions) that you have some control over. Learning how to navigate or eliminate situations that are causing you stress or anxiety may help you to minimize or alleviate adrenaline rushes.[19]
    • Make a list of triggers for adrenaline rushes. Read the list and check off what you can actively control.[20]
    • For example, maybe staff meetings cause adrenaline rushes. Take steps to minimize your anxiety in the situation, such as being fully prepared, meditating in the five minutes before the meeting, or sitting next to positive people.[21]
    • If a friend is causing you stress because she is causing drama, decrease the amount of time you spend with that friend. Remember: you can't control your friend, but you can control how you respond to her an how much time you spend with her.
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    Exercise most days of the week. There is evidence that aerobic and cardiovascular activity can have a positive effect on your mood and calm you down.[22] Talk to your doctor before you begin any new exercise program.
    • Even 10 minutes of exercise can help you relax and refocus. For example, a 10 minute walk can relax you and give you a chance to think about the positive in your life.[23]
    • Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins and serotonin, which can improve your mood and help you sleep and may minimize or relieve adrenaline rushes.[24]
    • Any type of exercise will do. Consider walking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, or running.
    • It is recommended that your exercise 30 minutes as day for five days a week.
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    Practice gentle yoga. Doing some gentle yoga can help stretch out tense muscles and more generally relax you. Even taking the time to do downward facing dog for ten breaths can help relax and refocus you, and in turn control anxiety and adrenaline rushes.[25]
    • Practice forms of yoga that are more gentle on the body. These will stretch tense muscles and relax you. Restorative and yin yoga are two excellent choices to help with adrenaline rushes.[26]
    • If you don’t have the time to commit to a full yoga session, do downward facing dog for 10 deep inhalations and exhalations. Downward facing dog is an important foundational pose in yoga that can not only calm and relax you, but will also stretch your tense muscles.[27]
    • Talk to your doctor before you begin any yoga practice to make sure you’re healthy enough to practice.[28]
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    Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. Poor diet can deplete your energy and cause stress or anxiety, which may in turn stimulate adrenaline rushes. Eating healthy foods and snacks will not only help your overall health, but may lessen stress, anxiety, and relieve adrenaline rushes.[29]
    • Foods such as asparagus have mood-enhancing nutrients and may help minimize stress stress.[30]
    • Food choices that are high in vitamin B can also minimize stress and anxiety. Avocados and beans are good choices of foods rich in vitamin B.[31]
    • A glass of warm milk can soothe insomnia and anxiety, which can exacerbate adrenaline rushes.[32]
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    Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. It’s advisable to avoid all recreational drugs and limit or cut out alcohol and caffeine. These substances can aggravate anxiety and make you more prone to adrenaline rushes.[33]
    • Most adults can tolerate 400mg of caffeine per day. This is the equivalent of four cups of coffee, ten cans of soda, or two energy drinks. If you are experiencing persistent rushes of adrenaline, try to decrease how much caffeine you’re consuming.[34]
    • Women should consume no more than one serving of alcohol a day and men no more than two. Examples of one drink include: 2 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters),1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of 80 proof distilled spirits.[35]
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    Schedule regular breaks to refresh and refocus. Split up any tasks, errands, or uncomfortable situations you have into manageable sections of time. Breaks can help you relax and refresh your mind and body. A break may also help you control an adrenaline rush or stave one off.[36]
    • Reading a book, watching a movie, taking a bubble bath, or spending time walking your dog or talking with your partner can all help to clear your head of the stresses from the day.
    • Do activities that you enjoy during your break. A short walk is an excellent way to take a break. It gets you away from your task, circulates your blood and gets oxygen to your brain, lets your mind wander, and helps you relax.[37]
    • Setting aside “worry” or “wander” time is also important. Give yourself a set time every day to let your mind deal with any problems you may have or just to do nothing. Having these types of breaks to recharge is as important as the small breaks you take between tasks.
    • Just as breaks are important, try and schedule a vacation at least once a year, which can give you a chance to relax and unplug.
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    Enjoy regular massages. Tension, anxiety and panic attacks cause physical changes in your body. Let yourself get and enjoy a massage to help you relax, which may help control your adrenaline rushes.[38] A professional masseuse can feel and remove tension in your muscles [39]
    • Some studies show that massage can release tense muscles.[40]
    • There are many types of massage available. Choose one that you can enjoy most. Any amount of massage will release oxytocin, which can help relax you and relieve tension.[41]
    • You can locate a qualified massage therapists either online or through a doctor’s recommendation.[42]
    • If you can’t visit a professional massage therapist, try self-massage. Rubbing your shoulders, face, or even ear lobes can significantly help to reduce your stress.[43]
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    Make sleep a priority. Every person needs sleep in order to maintain physical and mental health and help them relax.[44] Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help recharge and relax yourself, which may also help control your adrenaline rushes.[45]
    • Practice good sleep hygiene, which includes going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, making your room conductive to sleep, and avoiding stimulants around bedtime.
    • Increased stress, anxiety and panic attacks can result from insufficient sleep.[46]
    • Short naps of 20–30 minutes during the day may also help you feel better.[47]
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    Join a support group. Joining a support group of others who suffer from anxiety or panic disorders can offer you unconditional support from others who understand what you’re experiencing. It may also give you some helpful ways in which you can cope with your adrenaline rushes.[48]
    • If there isn’t a support group in your area, consider confiding in a close friend or family member about what you’re experiencing. You may find that even speaking to someone you love can minimize your stress and anxiety. Someone outside of a stressful situation can often see a logical way to handle it more effectively than someone who is in the midst of the it.
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    Consult a doctor. If you find that your adrenaline rushes are significantly affects your life or are so severe that the physical symptoms are unbearable, see your doctor. Your doctor can help you formulate a treatment plans that may include psychotherapy, medication, or other lifestyle methods.[49]
    • For example if you are having anxiety your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepines or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for therapy. Alternative therapies for adrenaline rush include kava kava and valerian root.
    • See your regular doctor or consider seeing a psychiatrist.[50]
    • Left untreated, adrenaline rushes or panic attacks may severely hinder your quality of life.[51]


  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are going through something that is causing you to feel high amounts of stress, talk to someone about it.

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