The half life of epinephrine and norepinephrine is about 2 to 3 minutes (it is going to be longer if you have genetic SNPs for enzymes like COMT, MAO, and SULT1A3 and/or are Magnesium deficient or low on methyl donors). These hormones are amplifiers, they raise the volume of the emotional state that your social circumstances have generated. Thus, if you get in an argument, you jack up the sympathetic system. Then you all resolve the argument, but the autonomic nervous system hasn’t had time to cool down and this is why people generally flash back and get angry about something else from years or decades ago that is completely unrelated. The heightened state of arousal and anger wants something to be outraged about.

I saw this again and again on the New York City subway. People were jacked up, rushed, crowded, surrounded by unfamiliar angry and sad faces, sympathetic to the max. Arguments would start and they would go around and around, in a feed forward cycle with the environmental circumstances.

Now you know.

Break the cycle.

Breathe and leave the situation. Understand that your autonomics are just doing what they are evolved to do. You got heated, it was an emotional response that happened. The argument was resolved and now you have a choice, allow your body to come down to baseline with various tools (like box breathing, smiling, staring at nature, or progressive muscle relaxation) or keep riding the sympathetic carousal at 100 mph.

The choice is yours.


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