Hum, Breathe or Gargle to Get Out of Fight-or-Flight?
A couple of months ago my chiropractor said that if you’re stuck in fight or flight, which I told her I had been, you need to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of the “rest-and-digest” activities that occur when the body is at rest, whereas the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for engaging activities associated with the fight-or-fight response. So how can you do that, according to my chiropractor? With belly breathing, humming and gargling. Interesting. I choose the breathing for now (although I just started humming, how could I not, rereading this?). I continue my 8-12 minutes once or twice a day, lying down (although sitting is fine too). I always feel better, calmer, more centered, more creative afterwards.
Fight-or-flight is an alert state, and if we’re in it a lot we become exhausted. Breathing exercises calm us down and cause the alert state to go away, and our muscles to start relaxing. This is the best way to start becoming healthier.