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Fight or Flight! VS Rest and Digest!

Sympathetic vs parasympathetic nervous system

There are two parts to your nervous system, and both are needed to keep you alive!

Nervous system, rest and digest vs flight or flight

The sympathetic nervous system

This is the part or branch of your nervous system that makes your heartbeat, keeps you breathing, helps you wake up in the morning and stay awake all day, is involved in sexual health and brain function! The SNS is also what we refer to when we say fight or flight response. It the feeling you get when you wake up late, have a near-miss in the car, drop a glass, or have an argument.

The parasympathetic nervous system

This is the branch of your nervous system responsible for resting and digesting! Hence the common term rest and digest mode. It is responsible for maintaining your heartbeat, breathing, sexual health, digestion (from the way you chew to the way you use the toilet), and more!

Wait, you’ve included the same things in both categories!

Yes, that is because the two branches work together, maintaining the balance between breathing and not getting enough oxygen to survive.

Do you know what your nervous system is doing?

Are you feeling agitated or frazzled all the time? If you count your breaths per minute, are you a fast breather or a slow breather? What is your gastrointestinal (stomach) telling you? Constipated, diarrheal, or easy to pass stools? Check out my blog on what a healthy bowel movement is HERE.

All these things can help tell you what your nervous system is doing.

If your nervous system stays in a sympathetic dominant mode, it can lead to inflammation, constipation, diarrhoea, leaky gut, fatigue, brain fog, and more!

So how do you get more of that rest and digest mode?

  • Meditate – this can be as simple and slowing your breathing down!
  • Chew your meals
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night
  • Drink 2-3L of water each day
  • Get a massage or have a hot bath

If you find yourself consistently in a sympathetic nervous system dominance click HERE to book in with me now for your comprehensive check-up and personalised treatment plan.

Medical Disclaimer. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

1 thought on “Fight or Flight! VS Rest and Digest!

5 Herbs for Anxiety – Jessica Sherwood Naturopath May 6, 2021 at 4:49 am

[…] down and have a cup of tea, and it takes time. So that can be a great way to help you get into that rest and digest mode is by making yourself a cup of tea and making that regular habit. Herbal teas are a gentle way of […]


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