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3 At Home Tips To Improve Your Nervous System
The brain is a very complex piece of the body.
There have been tons and tons of studies of the human brain and there is still so much of it that we don’t really know about it or how it actually works. The brain is great and all but in order for the brain to work it needs information sent to it. This is where the other portion of the nervous system comes into play. This complex web of nerves that come off the spinal cord and go up to the brain stem is what feeds the brain it’s information.
The nervous system is broken down into 2 parts…1 being the fight or flight, or what I like to call the survival side, and 2 being the resting and digesting, or the thrival side. Ideally we want our bodies to primarily be running on this thrival side. Unfortunately with all of the day to day stress we face on a constant basis our bodies are stuck in survival mode most of the time. Think of it as an internal dimmer switch. Instead of the dimmer being set just right, it’s cranked up just a little bit too much. This can cause us to feel a slight twinge of anxiety, have difficulty sleeping, chronic pain and discomfort, headaches, jaw clenching, poor digestion, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and much more.
You might be reading that list of things and thinking how you might be stuck in survival mode. If that is the case then you are definitely in the right place. I want to give you 3 things you can do at home that will help your nervous system and get you back into thrival mode!
Let’s Get Chilly!
I will admit that this one is easily the hardest and most uncomfortable out of all of these. We’re not talking about turning up the AC at night to get a better nights sleep….even though that does help. What we’re talking about is cold showers/ice baths/cryotherapy.
Like I said this is the hardest and most uncomfortable one of them all but it can have the biggest impact on your nervous system. I personally prefer ice baths over the other 2 but I’ll leave that decision up to you. Both the ice bath and cold shower should last between 5-10 minutes total with cryotherapy being something that you have to go somewhere to do so that one isn’t truly at home. The benefits of these may shock you the same way they shock the body. When your body experiences this extreme cold there is only one thing that it can do…go into total survival mode.
But I thought we were trying to get out of survival mode??? Yes we are and this is a great way to do so. The body goes into such an extreme state of survival mode to protect all of the internal organs that once the ice bath or cold shower is done, the only way the body can go is to thrival mode. By staying consistent with these things we are able to help our bodies stay in this thrival mode for longer and longer.
Cut The Cravings
This one definitely takes some accountability but it’s something that is overlooked as a contribution to nervous system health. Your diet plays a huge role in your health, not just from a weight gain or weight loss standpoint. The food we eat does affect our weight obviously but what’s often overlooked is what’s actually in our food.
If you’re constantly eating food that’s packed with artificial things your body is going to recognize that and try to fight off what’s not natural. By continuing to eat inflammatory foods you’re giving your body more fuel to fight off, keeping it in a survival state. By focusing on eating foods that are organic and normal in nature, your body is going to have an easier time digesting along with not having to fight off unwanted chemicals. This is with saying that you’re not eating foods that you’re allergic or have sensitivities to.
By cutting the cravings for low nutrient foods you’re helping your body and nervous system heal and allowing it to start to thrive!
Stop & Breathe
This last tip is by far the easiest in my opinion. I’m sure your life, like everyone else’s, feels like it’s always go go go. You never get to a break and when you do get a break the only thing you want to do is scroll social media, watch TV, or go to sleep!
Simply stopping and breathing can be a huge help to your body. I don’t mean just sitting around looking at a wall and unconsciously breathing. I’m talking about taking the time to consciously focus on your breathing and your thoughts. Practice a rhythmic 4 count breathing where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold it out for 4 seconds, and repeat. If you do this as a daily routine you’re going to slow everything in your body down, taking you out of that survival mode. While doing this focus on what you want in your life as well. The mind is much more powerful than we give it credit for. If we focus on negative things then that’s what’s going to happen to us.
Like I said, this last one is the easiest one to do but it does take discipline like the others mentioned.
Having the feeling of a dimmer switch always turned up a little too bright is terrible and leaves you on edge along with all of the other chronic symptoms it can lead to. If this is something that you struggle with I really hope that you take the time and do some of the things that were listed in this article. None of them are the easiest things to do but by sticking to a routine and really wanting to make a change in your life I have no doubt that everyone can achieve them to start getting the nervous system back into a thrival mode!
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