Evolutionary Stress Responses: The Mismatch Theory

Humanity’s primitive ancestors evolved the stress response in an environment far more dangerous than today’s civilized workplaces. Humans’ evolutionary responses no longer match their daily reality.

The ancient “fight-or-flight” response, wherein stress provokes an accelerated heartbeat, tightened muscles, and the release of adrenaline, impelled early humans to either flee a predator or charge into battle. The mismatch theory recognizes only this kind of stress response, but evolution has not stood still.

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