Float Fact: Fight or Flight Versus Rest and Digest
The “fight or flight” response has gotten a lot of press over the years. It kicks into gear when we perceive a threat, and it prepares us to defend ourselves or flee to safety. To do this, it activates our sympathetic nervous system, which starts a cascade of physical changes in our body, such as an increase in our heart rate and blood pressure.
But did you know that there’s an equally important, but opposite response that our bodies have? It’s known as the “rest and digest” response. It’s rooted in our parasympathetic nervous system, which essentially serves the opposite purpose as the sympathetic mentioned above, and helps to calm us down and give our bodies a chance to heal and recuperate.
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