Breathe and Let Go...😌
The world has changed so much in 10,000 years, but our DNA is still the same...So if you think about it, according to our DNA and subconscious mind we're still designed to live for the basics: Food, Shelter Community, and avoiding Threats and Dangers.
This is why all have our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), if our bodies detect a threat or is in stress - all background functions like digestion & hormone functioning takes the back seat, whilst cortisol (stress hormone) & adrenaline takes over.
This is life saving when you're in dangerous situations such as running from a predator, however our bodies cannot differentiate between types of stress. This means even when you're sitting and thinking about a stressful situation at work, you are activating your "sympathetic nervous system".
The amount we stress over daily lifestyle tasks means majority of us are practically living in fight or flight mode every single day! This is often times the root cause of so many health conditions. Luckily, there's SO MANY techniques to signal to your body that you are safe and not in a life threatening situation, it may sound simple but over time applying these techniques activates your "Parasympathetic nervous system" (Rest & Digest), and the more often your body is in Rest & Digest mode your health will flourish. Here are some ways to activate this:
1. Deep Breathing
Slow and deep breaths is the opposite of what you would do if you were in danger. You can do this once or multiple times in a day - close your eyes and take a deep inhalation through your nose, and a long exhalation through your mouth. Do this 2 more times, with every inhalation and exhalation becoming longer and slower.
2. Belly Breathing
You can also take a few slow deep breaths placing one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. This time breathe from your belly. Feel your belly expanding and deflating with every inhalation and exhalation.
3. Earthing/Nature Walks
Being in nature is what's most natural for our bodies. If you've been indoors all day sometimes just stepping outside and doing some earthing will be so effective. Walk barefoot on sand or grass and soak up some sun.
4. Singing & Humming
Have you heard of your Vagus Nerve? It's the nerve that connects your gut and brain and activates your Parasympathetic nervous system. You can stimulate your vagus nerve by singing or chanting deep from your diapghram.
5. Yoga & Meditation
Yoga asanas stimulate your Vagus nerve. This is why practicing yoga can have great health benefits over time.
6. Movement & Exercise
We're not designed to live a sedentary lifestyle, movement and exercise does wonders to our bodies and is great for stress reduction. If you're trying to reduce your stress and cortisol levels, avoid vigorous exercise such as High Intensity training, intense cardio or very heavy weight lifting as those may increase cortisol.
You may not be able to apply all these tips and that's okay! Even making one small change can make a huge different to your stress levels💚 Wishing you all a great week ahead!