The ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) has two branches:
One for arousal
One for relaxation
The Sympathetic nervous system has the role of coordinating our organs when we are in situations where we need to be expending energy (e.g fighting a woolly mammoth). Our muscles need energy and oxygen, the sympathetic nervous system signals our heart and lungs to work harder and our liver to release glucose.
In simple terms. The sympathetic nervous system is what kicks in when we face a threat, for example the psychology exam that is very soon. This causes our heart and lungs to work harder than normal, and our body needs glucose (although a lucozade also helps)
The Parasympathetic nervous system coordinates our organs when we can relax and conserve energy, It promote digestion and slows our heart and breathing.
This is after the exam is over and we can relax and calm down
A good way to remember these is that the SYMPATHETIC nervous system is where we feel sorry for ourselves because of the exam and the PARAsympathetic nervous system is for when we are getting drunk after the exam!
Our brain has two in-built responses to stress. They produce different bodily responses but they both involve our hypothalamus and our adrenal glands.
When our brain registers a change in the environment, the hypothalamus starts an initial shock reaction. This is known as the sympathomedullary pathway (because it involves our sympathetic nervous system.and the adrenal medulla which release…