What is a Relaxation Response and How Does it Aid in Recovery?

What is a Relaxation Response and How Does it Aid in Recovery?

The counterpart to fight-or-flight response, the relaxation response, occurs when the body no longer is in perceived danger. The autonomic nervous system functioning returns to normal and the body relaxes. The relaxation response is the opposite of the body’s stress response. During relaxation, the body moves from physiological arousal, increased heart rate, slowed digestion, decreased blood flow, increased release of hormones to prepare the body for slowing down. Find out how it can help recovery from addiction.

Relaxation Response

The way to induce a relaxation response is to relax your body and mind. There are techniques to use to calm your body’s response to be on high alert. When you experience it, you begin to put into practice a healthy way of living for yourself that does not include feeling stress and anxiety. The key to lowering the body’s automatic response to stress is finding a way to decrease the brain and body’s response to stress.


Meditation is a great stress reliever because it works well for calming the body and mind. It helps build resilience over time. Some people find it hard to get the hang of it, but different meditation and expectations are involved depending on the type you focus on.


Stress relief breathing can be highly effective in calming the body as well. This works because it calms the body any time and place, even in the middle of stress. There are various types of breathing exercises to practice. Give a few a try and see what works best for you.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

These exercises involve tensing and relaxing different groups of muscles in your body until it is natural to find and stay there. This technique takes time and practice. Eventually, you find yourself able to fully relax.


You may be surprised to hear yoga can be great for relaxation. It depends on the type of yoga. Incorporating breathing exercises is healing as well. A good yoga session can require time and a good teacher. We encourage techniques for a regular part of your practice to help alleviate stress.

When you are seeking relaxation techniques, find what works best for you. When you are able to do that, you are doing something good for your body, mind, and soul, which is always good in recovery.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.