Understanding how your body deals with stress is the foundation to balancing your nervous system.
The nervous system response to stress is at the root of all imbalances that lead to illness.
Short on time? There’s a infographic at the end of this email that summarizes my details.
Knowing how you’re wired to deal with stress gives you a basis for how to manage it daily.
You can’t solely manage stress with a spa day, a massage or a vacation.
Daily interventions are key!
Your vagus nerve is your stress response system.
Scanning for safety is it’s job.
If there’s a threat that it’s learned to respond to, it will, over and over again till you learn how to re-assure it that there is no threat.
When your vagus nerve isn’t sensing that you are “safe” you will have pro-inflammatory markers and cortisol coursing through your veins.
Each time cortisol is released, cortisone the anti-inflammatory steroid molecule is as well.
You’re wired very intelligently to “cool” the inflammation while you’re firing it up.
When your system is always on alert it becomes confused on how to counter inflammation.
This sets the body off to be stuck in fight or flight mode.
Keeping the liver and the rest of the body inflamed all the time.
I mention the liver as it takes a beating when the body is stressed.
All of it’s detox mechanisms slow down and molecules build up.
And eventually the cells have effects as well, as I’ve mentioned in my Hormone Imbalance Theory from last week.
When you know how you’re wired to deal with stress you can plan specific ways to help reassure your vagus nerve that all is safe.
Your conscious sense of danger is completely different than your nervous system’s sense of it.
It may be weird to think that you’re “not safe” when everything around you seems ok.
I get it!
I invite you to explore these following questions:
- How do you prefer to deal with stress?
- Are you an escaper, need movement, become fatigued or freeze in the moment?
- Does it vary based on what type of stress it is?
Here’s how it plays out…
MOVER – you feel the need to move to manage your stress.
If you can’t get out for a run, bike, walk or hit the gym you’re feeling agitated or annoyed all day.
This may show up as pacing, cleaning or keeping your schedule super busy to be on the go.
HOW TO MANAGE IT – schedule time for movement breaks during the day and target them for times you’re more prone to being stressed.
FREEZER – when you’re overwhelmed or stressed out you’re prone to wanting to pull the covers over your head and hide, decrease social contact or escape to anywhere you can by yourself.
This may show up as being tired during the day, specific times of the day or certain events/people/situations drain your energy.
HOW TO MANAGE IT – observe where you’re most tired.
If you’re waking up tired – focus on your evening wind down and chill routine.
If you’re tired all day – look at your AM routine.
Fatigue at certain times of the day? Look at situations it presents itself.
Make time for breaks during the day where you get to be alone to just breathe.
Knowing your response to certain situations helps you plan what’s best for you to put your stress in check.
You are still an animal and have animal instincts.
Lean into them and honor them.
Forget society’s “human” pre-conceived notions on folks that take breaks.
Do what you need at certain times – that’s self care!
Here’s to an amazing weekend and if you’re in the states – Happy 4th Weekend!
Here’s to your health,