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Fight-or-flight vs rest and digest.

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Your body has two modes that it likes to be in:

1. Fight-or-flight

2. Rest and digest

Your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) winds you up into fight-or-flight mode. This is where (in short) your body is allocating its resources to what’s essential, priming you to run away from the lion that’s chasing you.

Your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) winds you down into rest and digest mode. Picture this as a restorative state where inflammation is reduced, optimal digestion occurs, hormones are balanced, blood sugar/pressure is regulated, anxiety and mood are moderated, stress resilience increases, and more.

A clear indication that you’re in rest and digest mode is a slow heart rate and breathing rate.

Something to keep an eye on: The vagus nerve makes up 75% of the PNS, meaning it plays a major role in putting you in rest-and- digest mode (which is where optimal digestion occurs), but the vagus nerve’s function is impaired by poor gut health. Hence...

Poor gut health = difficulty entering rest-and-digest mode = difficulty digesting foods optimally = poor gut health.

With your body constantly fluctuating between these two states it's vital that you tip the scales towards a state of stillness and recovery in an ever-increasingly stressful and stimulating world.

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