Your nervous system guides almost everything you feel, think, do, and say. Your nervous system controls complicated processes like thought, movement, and memory. It is also essential in things your body does without thinking, like breathing, blushing, and blinking. Balance your nervous system and increase your health and wellbeing and the functioning of your body and mind.
Every aspect of your health is affected by your nervous system, including your:
- Memory, thoughts, learning, and feelings.
- Movements, like balance and coordination.
- Digestion, as well as how hungry and thirsty you feel.
- Sleep, healing, and aging.
- Senses, including how your brain interprets what you see, hear, taste, touch, and feel.
- Breathing patterns and heartbeat.
- Response to stressful situations.
- Body processes, such as puberty.
This complex system is the command center for your body. It regulates your body’s systems and allows you to experience your environment.
An expansive network of nerves sends electrical signals to and from other cells, glands, and muscles in your body. These nerves receive information from the world around you.
Then the nerves interpret the data and control your response. It’s almost like an enormous information highway running throughout your body.
Help balance your nervous system with these six activities:
1. Be Present
Rather than being genuinely present, most of our time is spent in the past or the future. Instead, be a witness to your thoughts, realizing they are just that – thoughts and not threats.
When you can do this, it stops activating the adrenal glands and the subsequent “panic” mode.
Become aware of exactly what you are doing in any moment.
Bear witness to it, observe it, name it, and stand away from it all at the same time.
Try increasing the duration of the exhalation for five to ten breaths several times a day. To do this requires being present. You can use a count such a four or five during inhale and seven or eight for the exhale.
Extended exhalation breathing lessens an overactive fight or flight response and strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system.
3. Conduct A Body Scan
Doing a body scan is simple. Just start at the crown of your head and slowly work your way down to your toes and fingers. Scan each part of your boy, paying particular attention to areas that are calling out via stiffness, pain, or through your sense of awareness.
Being active can distract you from daily worries and boost your feel-good endorphins. Moderate movement such as walking and gentle yoga is a great way to help your brain find calm and shift out of stress mode without overtaxing the body.
5. Find Calm
Gentle yoga and meditation are great ways to help your body and brain deal with stress and decrease reactivity by regulating the nervous system.
Studies have shown that these practices create a space between exposure to a situation and reaction, giving you time to gather and respond in a more calm state.
To help prepare for a good night’s sleep, try avoiding bright lights like computer screens at least two hours before bedtime. Aim for getting 15-20 minutes of sunlight in the morning. Light is the body’s natural alarm clock.
Work on your circadian rhythm by going to bed and waking up at the same time as much as possible.
Try these practices to help eliminate stressors that may be sapping your adrenal health, find more calm and balance your nervous system! Learn more about stress and the body in this article.
About the Author
Hope Knosher is the founder of Healthy Living With Hope and Hope’s Yoga. Based in Atlanta, Georgia she is a Certified E-RYT500 Yoga Teacher, National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach & Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Hope and her work have been featured in numerous publications including Reader’s Choice “Best Of Atlanta” by Atlanta Magazine, one of Atlanta’s “Over 40 & Fabulous” by Best Self Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for her work with cancer survivors, MindBodyGreen, Noteworthy, Mantra Yoga & Health and cover features with Northside Woman and Yoga Magazine.
Check out Hope’s weekly yoga classes open to everyone in Johns Creek Georgia. She also offers corporate yoga & meditation, wellness coaching and workshops. Hope is also a regular guest speaker on topics related to Yoga, Mindfulness, and Health & Wellness. Learn more about Hope.