Paraphrased from article by Sue Shellenbarger:
A normal stress response will subside within an hour or two. Stress responses include increased heart rate and breathing, and arise in bloodstream levels of stress hormone cortisol. People who have extreme reactions to stress cannot calm down, become defensive or aggressive or become fearful and withdrawn that do not subside.
“A vigilant person is hypersensitive, reacting at a biological level and putting more effort and energy into warding off threats, real or perceived,” says Bruce J. Ellis, a co-author of the study (University of Turin, Italy) and a professor of family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona Tucson.
Extreme or chronic stress responses are linked to heart disease, digestive problems and hypertension.
Click on the link above to read more from the article to learn how those who are hard-wired to extreme responses can cope.