The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

From Fight or Flight to Relaxation Response


Life is busy. Life can be stressful. Many of us get in a pattern of reacting to stress in a way that is very hard on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. You have probably heard of the “fight or flight” response. Our heart rates go up, the adrenaline has kicked in, stress hormones such as cortisol are going through our bodies releasing free radicals etc. This response is a good thing if we are really in a dangerous or urgent situation.  It served our ancestors well when the big predators were after them while hunting. It does not serve us well if we are wrecking havoc on ourselves with each bill that comes in the mail, every little worry that pops into our minds etc. The result is anxiety, fatigue, stress related illness, aging, high blood pressure, and probably shortened life spans.

It would benefit us to learn how to turn this fight or flight response off (except when really needed like pulling our kids away from a coming car while crossing the street etc.)

Here are some activities  (not in any particular order) that help to alleviate the negative effects of stress by lowering heart rate, slowing breathing, and lowering blood pressure:

  1. yoga
  2. meditation
  3. Tai Chi
  4. walking
  5. swimming
  6. laughing
  7. personal connection with good friends, supportive people
  8. bicycling
  9. journal writing
  10. making love/masturbating
  11. breathing exercises
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April 25, 2010 - Posted by | anxiety, Physical Exercises, Tips to help insomnia | , ,

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