The Important Purpose of Relaxation

The Important Purpose of Relaxation
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Do you race around like everything is urgent, taking on everything that comes your way, and then some? Could you be hooked on adrenaline?

Many of us abuse adrenaline, a stress hormone, for energy, to get a rush, or to get things done. Adrenaline actually has a more important purpose as part of the fight-or-flight survival mechanism.

Fight-or-flight is designed to protect you – like when you have to run from danger. Hardly a daily threat. Yet we unknowingly put our bodies into this stress response that can go for days or weeks on end.

Unfortunately, all you have to do is remember a stressful situation to bring on the stress response. Your brain can’t tell the difference between thinking about fear or an actual life or death threat. And the really bad news? Cortisol, another stress hormone, contributes to weight gain.

In order to heal, or have an impact on our stress, it’s important to address the source of the stress, but we also need to relax to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the relaxation response. The body’s self-healing mechanisms happen in relaxation. If we continue to live with chronic stress, we will eventually get sick.

Anything that brings happy thoughts and feelings can bring on the relaxation response. For example: laughter, connection to nature, doing the things you love, yoga, meditation, EFT and deep breathing are all potential solutions.

If you really like adrenaline try a roller coaster ride, or white water rafting, and keep it out of your daily life as much as possible.