Does it seem as if you’re constantly living on adrenaline, cortisol or “fight/flight” mode? There’s no rest for the weary!
Science tells us that fight of flight response lives in the sympathetic nervous system. What’s that got to do with me being anxious you may ask? When you understand how it works and talk to your body in the language that your nervous system recognises, you can control your breathing and through it control your heart rate, release of cortisol. Speak to your sympathetic nervous system through a simple breathwork excercise to put the breaks on, and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Be kind to yourself and pay attention to what you say to your mind. 5 minutes of deep breathing at least 3 times a day is all it takes to see the results over time.
Nature or Nurture? This is a lot to do with your autonomic nervous system, an intricate part of the human body that controls many bodily functions. It stimulates or slows down your heart rate, regulates hormonal release, digestion and excretion, helps control blood pressure as well as metabolic processes in all parts of your body.
Your body, wonderous machine, has two main systems: sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. The first accelerates our whole organism when we are excited, in danger, and more often than not these days – under a lot of stress. A little bit of stress is ok, but numerous studies report that chronic stress has serious implications on our long term wellbeing due to constant release of cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline). When you overreacting to traffic jam, work pressures, a bit of noise and family difficulties you are in your sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight, freeze, flop, fart, feed). Imagine you bathing in these hormones every day. How do you think you may feel?
The latter (parasympathetic nervous system) creates a calming effect on us during times where there is no danger present, it’s like our body knows we need a mechanism to protect us from too much stress and it’s like having brakes so you can stop quickly if needed. How can I put these breaks on? The simple answer is ‘take a break, breathe.’
A normal day of dealing, doing, concentrating and rushing can be exhausting on our bodies. Your nervous system first releases stress hormones like adrenaline in order for you handle the situation at hand but then cortisol pumps through your body which does not allow it time to recover from these stressful moments. However, you know now the ace up your sleeve that helps regulate all those chemicals running around; The Parasympathetic NS or what we know as “The Relaxation Response.” This response also activates other important bodily functions such as digestion and restful sleep (due to calming emotional responses). One way you can activate this beautiful relaxation response? Exercise! Yoga, a daily walk, deep breathing or meditation, massage has been shown by recent studies to activate parasympathetic nervous system.
So why not take a break, find a comfortable relaxing space, lie down or sit down and do this 5 minutes breathing morning meditation. If you found this helpful don’t forget to subscribe and like before you leave. We all love rewards 🙂