Have you wondered why we are all chasing nature, calm, yoga?
Our lives have sped up considerably with the progression of technology, but with all the technology that should make our lives easier, we are actually busier. It is in this state of busy in our lifestyles that many chronic health conditions are becoming such an issue.
The pace and perceived stress that we associate with living our lives at present create a stress response in our bodies and in our children’s bodies on a conscious and unconcious level. It is this stress response that the body picks up on that creates a cascade of chemical and physical symptoms that contribute to our health, chronic health conditions, and some mental health issues. It is our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight or freeze) that is switched on all the time that creates this internal stress response based on our activities and perceptions.
If we are to continue at the pace we are currently living our lives, firstly, we need to acknowledge and understand the impact it is having on our physical and psychological health. Secondly, we need to learn how to switch from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) to allow our bodies time to recoup, reset, manage.
Some people love living a ‘busy’ lifestyle, but to choose this lifestyle means understanding what the sympathetic vs parasympathetic looks and feels like so that they can consciously slow down to keep going or to speed up and maintain their health over a long period of time. Others choose to slow down in general, both options are a personal choice to consider and make, but being aware is the first step.
Accessing the parasympathetic nervous system can be achieved through lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating healthy.
- Reducing/limiting/omitting stimulants such as coffee and alcohol.
- Getting restful/deep/restorative sleep.
- Participating in deep breathing or activities that promote the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system eg yoga, meditation, some forms of pilates.
- Walking in nature/on the beach/in the park/where there is no time, aim, goal.
- Switching devices off.
- Taking a break away from the ‘busy-ness’.
- Being aware of your thoughts/perceptions and how these can be changed to reduce the need to rely on the sympathetic nervous system.
There are countless books and websites that can be researched on the need for us to be consciously aware of our busy-ness and how to relax, chillax, take time out, but most importantly move our state of being from sympathetic dominance to a balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This, in turn, will assist us to manage our health for longevity.
Some books to read (links through to Booktopia for purchase if you wish):
Dr Libby – Rushing Women’s Syndrome
Angela Lockwood – Switch Off
Hector Garcia & Frances Miralles – Ikigai
Richard Carlson – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Have a great day!