The Big Adrenaline Drop: 3 Keys to being Smart after a Victory

By Patrick Donohue

March 21, 2018

The Big Adrenaline Drop:  3 Keys to being Smart after a Victory

March can be the most exciting and cruelest month on the calendar. We are at the height of March Madness with UMBC pulling off an all-time upset over Virginia and Loyola-Chicago hitting two buzzer beaters and Michigan winning on a prayer.

 The adrenaline rush from winning at anything is intoxicating, but there is another side to it. No, not the agony of defeat, that is for another post. The other side happens when you come down from the winning. All that adrenaline rushing through our veins feels good, but what happens when the ride is over?

 That is the real issue. When the lights dim and the applause has died down, our body is still screaming for adrenaline. This is precisely when horrible decisions can be made. As the body is screaming for one more trip down the roller coaster, we can decide that using drugs/alcohol or taking crazy risks sexually or driving wildly is a good idea. We are most vulnerable to making poor decisions when our adrenaline level is high and dropping.

 There is a actually a medical term for what we are experiencing: Post Adrenal Drop. Our adrenaline level is coming down after the excitement of a big event. So, what are the three best things to do after a big victory?

  1. Chill out and let your adrenaline level drop naturally. After a big speaking event, my adrenaline is running high, so the best thing for me to do is to plan a low stress day.  We want to let our adrenaline lower naturally and not fight it.  There will be some initial pain as your levels decrease, but that will not last long.
  2. Plan to Do Rote Tasks - After a big event our creative and energetic juices are often depleted.  The best thing we can do is to plan something rote, that is mindless, but still productive. After large events, I will often do scheduling or accounting things that I find easy to perform.
  3. Memorialize the Event - A great way to let your adrenaline come down and still remember the event is to either write about it, record something or scrapbook if that is your thing.  When we memorialize events, it helps our brain organize them and easily retrieve them later.

 The most successful people always have a post-event strategy that allows them to enjoy the moment and slowly let their body get back to normal adrenaline levels. In the big victories in your life, whether in school, sports, business or relationships, always have a post-game plan to stay safe and sharp.

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