The Opposite of Fight or Flight

Your body doesn’t feel good when the biochemistry of stress kicks in. You might feel like there is a brick in your stomach, or maybe you can’t sleep and your heart is pounding. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and distracted. Stress isn’t supposed to feel good. It’s there to help you survive threats like an oncoming car or menacing stranger. That clammy-hands, heart-pounding response is your body’s way of preparing you to deal. This is called the fight-or-flight response and comes from your sympathetic nervous system releasing hormones to help increase your chances of surviving the emergency at hand. The fight-or-flight response causes your breathing to increase, your heart to beat faster, your muscles to tense, and your pupils to dilate—all as a way for you to be ready to run from or face immediate danger. At the same time, your sympathetic nervous system slows down the body functions that aren’t …

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