Calm Your Nervous System
#1 Health Tip: Calm Your Nervous System
Get ready to calm your nervous system! Want to experience deep healing? Do you know the number one thing you can do to heal now and have the best health ever?
Whether you want to lose weight, look more youthful, improve digestion, beat cancer, or overcome any health challenge, you MUST focus on this one tip. It’s not drinking more water, exercising, or eating superfoods. Although those are helpful, this tip supersedes them all. No matter what diet you follow, fitness routine you master, or wellness program you sign up for, you won’t make big or lasting improvements until you have this #1 health tip down.
Support Healing, Calm Your Nervous System
Calm Your Nervous System for Deep Healing
Why is this so important for your health? Because when your nervous system isn’t in a relaxed healing state, it’s in a fight-or-flight stressed state. Healing can’t happen unless you’re regularly operating from a relaxed state. The goal of getting your body into a relaxed state is to calm your nervous system most of your day. This sounds simple, yet most people struggle with this and their health and well-being reflect it.
Let’s go over some basics about your nervous system first. Then, you’ll better understand the importance of this simple, yet crucial tip.
How Your Nervous System Works
Consisting of a network of nerves, your autonomic nervous system (ANS) keeps your body sensing, responding, moving, and functioning. Its goal is to maintain homeostasis or balance in the body. There are only two states your ANS can be in at any time: parasympathetic and sympathetic.
The parasympathetic ANS stimulates the body’s rest-and-digest response, a.k.a. healing response. This helps calm, repair, and heal the body. When your body is relaxed it can focus on the vital functions that help you thrive. It has the opposite effect of stress.
In contrast, the sympathetic ANS stimulates the body’s fight-or-flight response. This process sends messages to your brain and body that there's a perceived threat. The body then responds by preparing to either fight, take flight, or freeze. It does this by dilating pupils, increasing heart rate, relaxing airways, releasing cortisol and adrenaline, etc. This stops activity in the salivary glands, stomach, gallbladder, and intestines. It also controls EVERY organ in your body except for skeletal muscles. This is HUGE! Although this is a healthy survival response in an acute situation, serious health problems can arise when the body gets stuck in a chronic stress response.
Parasympathetic, Rest-&-Digest, Healing State
Sympathetic, Fight-or-Flight, Stressed State
"Over 90% of all doctor's visits are stress-related! Stress hormones shut down the immune system to conserve energy."
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.
Healing the Nervous System
Is Your Healing on Hold?
Scientists estimate that over 85% of us live in a fight-or-flight state most of the day. Being stuck in a stress response depletes your body, whereas being in a relaxed state heals your body.
As Dr. Bruce Lipton explains in his book, The Biology of Belief, your body consists of over 50 trillion cells that are never stagnant. They’re always moving towards growth or protection. In a cloned stem cell experiment, Dr. Lipton found that these cells opened up in response to nutrients and closed off in response to toxins (threats). They could only be in one mode at a time, not both. You can either survive in a protected state or thrive in a growth state. But, you can’t do both. It’s not part of your biology. Only when you’re relaxed, in body and mind, can you grow and heal. So you want your ANS to be parasympathetic dominant. This means you’re in a healing state most of the time.
Running From a Bear
Let’s go over what happens with your body in response to stress. Say you're triggered by a threat, such as a bear. This activates the stress response so you can fight or run to survive. Whether it’s a real threat (a wild animal) or a perceived one (a text message), your nervous system signals the same stress response. So if you have big or small threats throughout your day, which many people do, then you’re not spending much time in that relaxed state. That's where deep healing happens. If you're running from a bear all day, then of course your body isn't focusing on digestion, conceiving a baby, or detoxing. It’s got more urgent problems to deal with.
The even bigger problem is that the “bear” could be a thought you have, an email from your boss, or a bug in your intestines. It’s not always easy to pinpoint the “bears” and other perceived stressors in your life. That’s why it’s helpful to work with a wellness coach who is well-versed in all of the ways you can get stuck. Your symptoms and conditions are just signs that something isn’t working right on a deeper level. That something is often a stuck stress response.
The good news is that you CAN fix this and experience deep, even miraculous healing! Contact Cate to get started reducing stress and finding the “bears” in your life. As a result, you can calm your nervous system and finally get the health results you deserve!
Stress Symptoms & Health Issues
Do you need to calm your nervous system? Chronic stress means your body is NOT healing. This results in health issues, anxiety, worry, sleep issues, chronic disease, and more.
Chronic stress can result in…
- Anxiety, depression, and other mood imbalances
- Blood sugar imbalances — type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cravings for sugar or caffeine
- Digestive issues — IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and more
- Dizziness when moving from sitting or lying to standing
- Fatigue and low energy
- Headaches and migraines
- Hormone imbalances — adrenals, thyroid, and sex hormones
- Irritability or lightheadedness between meals
- Kidney disease
- Metabolic issues, weight gain, and obesity
- Sleep issues
- Weakened immunity & autoimmunity
Are YOU Stuck in Fight-or-Flight?
- Do you feel wired but tired?
- Does it feel like your life is out of control?
- Do you feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious, or stressed?
- Does it feel like you can’t seem to calm yourself down?
These feelings are all associated with being in a stress response. But, don’t worry, there are ways you can calm your nervous system and get back into a relaxed state.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) reflects your nervous system. It can react to stress and illness, which makes it one of your most powerful tools for detecting high stress, impaired healing, and overall well-being. Using a HRV tool such as a HeartMath device, you can measure the subtle variations in the time interval between individual beats. This can quickly calm your nervous system back into a relaxed state. Over time, this can lead to greater resilience and improved health.
"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you."
The Healing Solution
How do you calm your nervous system?
To calm your nervous system and improve your health now, it’s important to look at your sources of stress. There might be several areas that your system is getting the stress signal and you might not even realize it. This is because stressors can happen below the level of consciousness. They can be from known or unknown sources such as subconscious, emotional, internal, or external stress. They can be internal sources like parasites or low-grade bacterial infections. They can also be unknown subconscious programs. These can include beliefs and perceptions around self-worth, safety, and protection. Look at the areas below to identify any sources of chronic stress in your life and work towards addressing those areas.
Reduce Stress to Calm Your Nervous System
Where Does Your Stress Come From?
Stressful programs, beliefs, and perceptions.
Try PSYCH-K! This rapid belief change process gets your body out of the stress response and helps calm your nervous system. As a preferred Facilitator, Cate can help you get to the root of old programs and beliefs that are unknowingly triggering an unhealthy response.
Unhealthy diet, low-grade infections, toxins, etc.
Does your diet contain any refined sugar, caffeine, gluten, or other inflammatory foods? Work with Cate to determine the best diet for you and specific foods to avoid or include.
Fear, anxiety, worry, etc.
Left unaddressed, this type of stress can cause issues in your tissues. Meaning that emotions can be stored and even trapped within the body. Sign up for PSYCH K to help heal old emotions. This form of energy psychology activates deep mind, body, and soul healing.
Environmental toxins, chemicals, allergens, etc.
Start a wellness program to take your lifestyle to a new level! Cate can help you clean up your environment at home or work. You’ll also be introduced to healthier alternatives to make healthy living easy.
"“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”
Another important thing to mention when talking about calming the nervous system is the vagus nerve.
What is the vagus nerve?
In Latin, vagus means wandering. It was named the vagus nerve because it takes a long and meandering path from the brain to all of the organs in the chest and abdominal area. The vagus nerve is the most influential nerve in your parasympathetic nervous system. It influences your heart rate, respiratory system, and digestion. It’s what helps you reset back to a calm nervous system that’s optimal for healing and living.
What is vagal tone?
The tone of the vagus nerve activates a calm nervous system. A great way to measure vagal tone is by using heart rate variability. You can do this using a HeartMath device. The higher the vagal tone, the more calming it will be. A high vagal tone means your breathing is more relaxed and resilient. It’s associated with better health and well-being. It can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and feelings of unease. It can also improve inflammatory conditions, immunity, digestion, migraines, headaches, circulation, brain function, and more.
Want to know how to stimulate the vagus nerve?
For best results, include the activities below to stimulate the vagus nerve and increase vagal tone.
How do you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system?
To calm your nervous system and promote healing, it’s important to do more relaxing things throughout the day. Your body is constantly responding to your thoughts, movement, breath, food, environment, and more. Everything you do is either moving you towards relaxation, growth, health, and life or stress, protection, illness, and death. So be mindful of your choices. The tips below will help to flip your nervous system switch from protection and illness to growth and health! These tips also stimulate the vagus nerve and increase vagal tone.
Unfortunately, our modern society doesn’t focus much on relaxation. We’re constantly stimulated, distracted, and kept in the busyness cycle. Everything from your phone, to your boss, to your worries about money can leave you in a chronic stress response. Plan at least one hour of relaxing activities daily to support your well-being.
Activities to Calm Your Nervous System…
- Meditate, do yoga, take a nap, journal, listen to music, etc.
- Do what makes you happy… laugh, sing, dance, or read
- Lay down with a lavender eye pillow
- Listen to nature sounds to create a tranquil environment
- Spend more time in nature
- Enjoy a warm lavender Epsom salt bath
- Take tech breaks from your phone, computer, TV, etc.
- Minimize the news, social media, etc.
Focus on Your Breath
There are many breathing exercises you can do to relax your body and mind. Learn a handful of methods so you have them to use as needed. Get started with Alternate Nostril Breathing, Belly Breathing, Diaphragmatic Breathing, Lion’s Breath, and Bumble Bee Breath!
Hum, Yawn, or Gargle
Humming, also known as brain humming, stimulates vocal cords and relaxed breathing. You can hum a song or make the sound “om” or “voo.” Next, try yawning. A good, long, and exaggerated yawn can stimulate a relaxed state. Set a reminder on your phone to stretch your jaw with a nice, big yawn. Lastly, try gargling water or other liquid to active the vagus nerve by stimulating your throat muscles.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Focus on a diet rich in whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Avoid a low-carb or ketogenic diet, especially if you experience any anxiety. The Medical Medium Diet can support deep healing of your nervous system. Also, limit the consumption of stimulants, especially caffeine. These are over-stimulating and make it hard to relax. Lastly, support your gut with healthy flora. You can do this by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, especially sprouts and microgreens.
Supplement for Stress
Adaptogens and minerals are especially important to calm your nervous system and recover from chronic stress. Cate can determine the best supplements for you. Helpful adaptogens include mushrooms, holy basil, rhodiola, ashwagandha, ginseng, and maca. Magnesium and electrolytes can improve mineral levels to support healing too.
Many people don’t get enough sleep. This is another missed opportunity for the body to naturally heal, repair, and restore itself. Strive to go to bed by 10:30 at the latest and aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Add fresh lavender to a diffuser before you hit the sheets to support relaxation and calm your nervous system.
Although there are tons of different ways to meditate, Synctuition is one of the best forms of meditation. It’s relaxing, attention-grabbing, inspiring, and helps increase your intuition. No matter what form of meditation resonates with you, aim for at least 10 minutes of meditation daily. Make it easy to fit into your routine by doing it upon waking, on your lunch break, or before bed.
HeartMath helps increase heart-brain coherence to promote a relaxed state for healing. The goal of heart-focused breathing is to direct your attention to the heart area as you breathe a little more deeply than usual. You can use HeartMath techniques for free or purchase a device to monitor your heart rate variability and progress.
Move Your Body
Moving your body with exercise or play is an excellent way to regulate and calm your nervous system. Choose more stimulating forms of movement earlier in the day and more gentle forms later in the day. Balance out challenging workouts with gentle stretch sessions. Yoga, pilates, dance, running, cycling, etc. are all great forms of movement to include for at least 20 minutes daily. Start small and do what feels best. Even taking breaks from sitting can benefit you well-being.
Healing bodywork can stimulate a relaxation response. So calm your nervous system and boost relaxation with acupuncture, massage, cranial-sacral work, and other healing modalities.
Cold Water Therapy
Cold-water therapy is great for regulating and calming your nervous system. This includes cryotherapy, cold showers, cold baths, and cold water plunges. Cold water activates your vagus nerve, which reduces your stress response. You can splash cold water on your face, take a cold shower, or submerge your body in cold water. Try an ice bath, ocean dive, or river plunge. Mix up your routine with cold water throughout the week. You’ll feel invigorated and refreshed.
Fear vs. Love
Is stress killing you? As Dr. Bruce Lipton explains, "Our biology is now based on whether we're open to being in love or closed because we're in fear. The state of fear is compromising not just the growth and maintenance of your body, but it's shutting off your immune system and opening you up to disease." This short video emphasizes the importance of living in a relaxed state that calms your nervous system and moves you towards growth, healing, and love.