Many of us are walking around in a state of either fight-or-flight; feeling stressed out, seeing or looking for dangers, and finding it difficult to relax, or shut down; of feeling low, numb or disconnected. These states might be so familiar to us that we come to identify with them, thinking that’s who we are.
“I just have a hard time relaxing, that’s how I am”
“I’m just an anxious person” or
“I just have low energy”
It’s not who you are - it’s just the state of your nervous system speaking. And like anything, the nervous system can be trained and changed with the right practice and some consistency.
When you’re in these states you might get a lot done (short term at least) but you don’t have access to your authentic self nor your creativity and in the long term they lead to burnout...
In the process of recovering from burnout myself, I found the following tools and exercises to be absolutely INVALUABLE! I wish I had discovered and used them before it got to that stage, that's why I am sharing them with you now.
The biggest act of self-love is balancing your nervous system.
This is how to do it:
Regulating your emotions (Perhaps starting by learning what your emotions are, how to feel them, and then how to process them. Most of us don’t know how to do this although we're not aware of this fact…)
Meditation (Though if you’re strongly dysregulated, meditation will be very difficult and, if you have a lot of stored trauma, it can make things worse. Start slowly with shorter sittings.)
Qigong, yoga, and yin yoga. My personal favorites! Especially qigong since it requires less time and is more easily accessible and doesn't require props. Check out “Brain education tv” on Youtube. They have lots of shorter practices that you can try and the results from using these are nothing but fantastic!
Breathwork & pranayama. If you’re the typical A-type high achiever - go slowly! Don’t go all in thinking you’re going to achieve a perfect nervous system by just hitting it hard enough… (Been there, done that - not a good idea!) There are lots of free guided practices to listen to. A favorite that balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain is “alternate nostril breathing”, an ancient yogic meditation technique.
Cold baths and showers.
Acupuncture & massage.
Regular exercise. Try to adapt the form of exercise to the state of your nervous system. If you are feeling shut down; gently activate it by perhaps going for a faster walk or some yoga. If you need to disperse energy; go running (or whatever form of exercise you enjoy) but don’t train to exhaustion.
Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve. All of the above practices stimulate the vagus nerve but there are specific exercises you can do to access it directly as well. Certain eye movements and ear massage activate it! Google if you're curious to learn more.
Things that cause your nervous system to become dysregulated in the first place are of course to be avoided as much as possible…
The main factor here is probably your own negative inner narrative and other people who trigger this narrative!
Allow yourself to distance yourself from those you consider to be unsupportive or toxic to you.
Allow yourself to stop listening to unhelpful thoughts and actively work to change your inner narrative.
I have several services to help you move forward to create your new future in alignment with your most authentic expression of yourself.
Schedule a call here to have a virtual coffee to get to know each other better!