Nervous System Support: A Simple Tip
As I write this I am looking out on the incredible green here in Tenterfield. When I left just after Christmas the land was no longer even gold. It was dead and brown… But despite the fires and drought, the rain we have received over the last few weeks has provided a deep level of renewal and support for the nervous system for all the local inhabitants, from plants to animals and humans.
This reminds me that we all have deep and unknown resources that we can draw on once the circumstances are right. One of the reasons that everything is so green is that the land was in shut down during the stress of the drought. We had some hail storms (providing nutrients) but the plants didn’t seem to be able to draw on that. I gave my veggies special compost and piped in rainwater from my tank – but no matter, nothing was growing – the environment was just too stressful.
What changed was the serious rain that watered the land deeply. I left Tenterfield with our very old fig tree still bare (even of leaves) despite normally being vibrant green and laden with fruit at that time of year. We had put in a special tank for her but even so we thought we had lost her.
I returned a few weeks later, after the rains, to a tree laden with leaves and fruit! She was able to use all of the resources, her own and the ground she grows in, once she was no longer stressed by limited water and an unsupportive environment. And as she flourishes so do the local birds and insect life – not to mention us when those figs ripen!
To me, this relates to all of us as living beings. In stress, we shut down to the minimal that life requires. The more stressed we are the more we shut down. The more our nervous system cries out for support. But give us a nurturing environment, we start to bloom – and access more potential than seemed possible.
Being interested in science as well as the living knowledge all around us, I love that this concept is supported by the latest research on the Vagus Nerve and the understanding of how our Para-sympathetic Nervous System works. It somehow seems to validate this experience and beg the question “How can we use this metaphor to reach more of our potential? To live a happier and more connected life?”
So how can we do this? By doing all we can to support the nourishment of our body, mind and spirit from the starting point of our nervous system. By supporting our nervous system in knowing that we are safe and well, we can access the deeper wisdom within. We can access the will power to eat well or move our bodies. Our bodies regain the ability to rest and digest (the role of the Para-Sympathetic Nervous System). We just feel better. And all the other healing therapies we do, such as kinesiology, can go to deeper levels of transformation.
As life becomes crazier we really must create the space to actively support our nervous system instead of leaving it to fend for itself. Mindfulness has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity because taking rest has become such a luxury. We just don’t stop. But if we don’t make space for stopping we will, one day, collapse. And that is seldom pretty.
How to start creating effective mindful moments? Belly breathing from Brain Gym® is a simple way to start. When we are stressed we start shallow breathing. Take a moment to notice how you are breathing right now – what part of your chest is rising. If you are like many people it will be your upper chest, but by breathing more deeply you can start to activate the resting and relaxation processes built into your nervous system.
Try it now….. put your hands on your belly (you might like to lie down). Notice how you are feeling – maybe give yourself a something out of 10. Notice where your breathing is centred and if your hands are being moved by your breath. Take a deep breath in and ‘huff’ it out in short breaths through your mouth … ‘huff, huff, huff, huff..’. as if you are trying to hold a feather in the air with your breath.
Your whole chest will vibrate and your diaphragm will be activated so your next breath in will naturally be deeper and stronger. Imagine you have a balloon in your belly and as you gently and naturally breath in it fills … as you gently and naturally breath out it deflates …. feel the expansion and contraction through your hands on your belly. After a few breaths notice again how you feel. Most people find they are feeling much more grounded and relaxed after this.
Doing this for a few minutes each morning and night or during the day when you need to reset is a great way to teach your body / mind to relax and enjoy the moment. Here is another great article on ways you can support your nervous system and Vagus Nerve. And we all know that the more we are in the present the less the worries of the future and the pain of the past impacts us.
******** This was written with the intention of helping you to live your best life, I would love to hear your thoughts on this, And if you think someone else would enjoy it please feel free to share it around.*********
********* if you want to know more about supporting your nervous system or how I can help you Create The Life You Want To Live please do get in touch! ********
Copyright 2020 Gay Landeta, Create The Life You Want To Live. All rights reserved.