US COPD Coalition

The Relaxation Response Can Help You Fight Stress


The following is reprinted from the NIH’s National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

When you’re under stress, your body reacts by releasing hormones that produce the “fight-or-flight” response. Your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure go up, your muscles tense, and you sweat more. If this happens often, over a long period of time, it can worsen many health problems.

There is no drug to cure stress. But we do have access to a built-in “stress reset button.” It’s called the relaxation response. It slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and decreases oxygen consumption and levels of stress hormones.

Some complementary health approaches, such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices, and relaxation techniques, may help to produce the relaxation response and counteract the ill effects of stress. Find out more in the NCCIH’s recently updated stress fact sheet.