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6 Ways to Nourish Your Nervous System

Your nervous system is connected with every part of your physical body. Within the nervous system are 2 branches:

  1. Sympathetic: fight or flight

  2. Parasympathetic: rest and digest

Increased levels of stress, inconsistent eating patterns, poor sleep and sleep hygiene, weight gain, getting into arguments, intense cardio exercise - all these shift us OUT of rest and digest and into “fight or flight” mode.

The body cannot function properly, or even heal, when we are in fight or flight mode!

All healing occurs in a parasympathetic state.

Here are 6 easy ways to nurture your nervous system and put you in a parasympathetic state!

  1. Look at the sky - Right now, as you are reading this, your eyes are heavily focused. You are probably looking downwards. But, lay on a yoga mat outside and look at the sky - and your eyeballs actually get a chance to rotate and look from left to right, up and down, and exercise our eyeballs in various directions! By expanding our visual field, the body is able to switch off the stress response! It allows our eyes to relax and take in a wider panorama!

  2. Movement after meals - whether you go on a walk, clean the house, or do a quick workout, this allows your muscles to soak up the glucose from the bloodstream, decreasing glucose spikes. Glucose spikes can increase cortisol levels (stress hormone)!

  3. Diversity in movement - doing intense cardio exercise can increase cortisol levels. Mix up your exercise routine with restorative exercise (yoga, meditation, breathing); strength training; cardiovascular exercise!

  4. Consistent sleep and wake up times - your circadian rhythm (internal clock) loves consistency. Whether its the weekend or work day, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time (with no greater than a 30 minute difference)

  5. Limit blue light exposure - blue light from electronics and television suppresses melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep!) production. Putting away phones 2-3 hours before bed can help! In addition, going outside in the sunlight around noon-early afternoon can help produce melatonin

  6. Slow down - simple!


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