Putting yourself through the paces of mentally challenging situations -- like giving an important speech while gazing out over a sea of strange faces, or tackling an intimidating new project at work -- can also trigger the same stress response and protect your brain against future freak-outs. Maintaining the flow of dopamine and endorphins is what keeps your stress response in check during pressure-cooker situations.

The traditional approaches to winding down -- meditation, deep breathing, a round of tequila shots -- can certainly take the edge off stress.
You want to feel that surge of adrenaline when you crest a hill and see the path fall suddenly away.

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