The autonomic nervous system responds to environmental demands and helps us through changes and threats. Homeostasis is needed to put energy toward the important yet longer term projects of rest, repair and growth.
The sympathetic response, known as ‘fight or flight’ is effective and useful at times. It evolved to keep us safe and is a great way to increase our level of performance in a short-term act such as delivering a presentation or exercising. This response is an immediate and urgent one that draws our body’s energy away from ‘non-essential’ functions in that moment. Our heart rate and blood pressure increase while our immunity, fertility and digestion are put on hold.