- Your nervous system controls your overall state of calm and contentment. It also plays a huge role for those suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.
- Resetting your nervous system requires strategic and mindful practice, not just self-care rituals.
- By maintaining a calm nervous system over time, you can boost your quality of life and increase your lifespan.
- Nervous system work supports cellular health, especially endothelial cells.
More than 30% of modern adults experience symptoms of an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
Read that again.
Not just anxiety. An anxiety disorder.
As a society, we have more access to news and information than any other civilization in the history of the world. Often the first thing we see in the morning is our phone — full of headlines that slam the gas pedal on our adrenaline and send our nervous system into a state of full-blown panic.
This continual influx of adrenaline can wear on our nervous system, making it more difficult for our bodies to respond to our own stressful experiences.
An overactive nervous system may cause symptoms like:
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Poor digestion
- Insulin resistance
Social media prescribes self-care bubble baths, wine, and Friends as the primary way to de-stress. As enjoyable as these activities are, they are only band-aids for a deeper problem. Resetting your nervous system requires targeted healing practices — more than just “chilling” out in front of the TV.Fortunately, these targeted practices are easily added to your daily routine. Once you begin to implement them, you’ll finally start to feel more in tune with yourself and calmer in the face of daily stressors.
Why is Calming the Nervous System Important?
The primary (central) nervous system is located in the brain and spinal cord. It’s the command center responsible for sending important messages to the entire body (think of it as your body’s very own carrier pigeon). If you can breathe, move, think, and function under pressure, you can thank your primary nervous system!
The peripheral nervous system works with the central nervous system by branching across the body to reach every organ and limb.
There’s also the famous vagus nerve, which stems from the brain down through the neck and abdomen to regulate the digestive system and many other organs.
When your nervous system is overworked, your body may enter a chronic state of fight or flight. This is when your body believes it’s in danger — even when it's not.
For example, you’re not physically in danger when you see traumatic events on the news — but your nervous system thinks you are. That prompts the adrenals to release stress hormones, sending your body into high alert and signaling to your cells that you’re not safe.
As you can imagine, this is not a recipe for a healthy lifestyle.
Calming the nervous system is essential for longevity and quality of life. When you do so, you’ll replace your anxiety with feelings of contentment and gratitude. Stress will manifest itself less in your daily life. Best of all, you’ll give your body space to focus on healing itself — physically and emotionally.
Nervous System Regulation: How to Calm the Nervous System
You don’t always need prescription pills or fancy equipment in order to heal your nervous system. (Although, you should definitely check with your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms!)
Here’s how to reset your nervous system with easy and accessible practices and tools that you already have.
Deep Breathing Practices
Work on repairing your nervous system naturally by using deep breathing techniques. Box breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and alternate nostril breathing are all awesome ways to invite calm during a state of panic. You can also try meditation or yoga paired with deep breathing, even if you only have 5 or 10 minutes.
EFT Tapping or Acupuncture
It’s not always possible to remove yourself from a stressful situation. Some days, you’ll find that simply existing at your job — or even at home — spikes your blood pressure. When this is the case, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping or acupuncture can cure nervous system problems naturally — and restore peace to your body.
These techniques originate in ancient Chinese medicine and work to balance the energy flowing through your body. They are based on the belief that unblocking energy channels can help you release painful emotions.
You can learn EFT tapping from home or visit a local specialist for acupuncture treatments. If you’re not keen on needles, there’s even laser acupuncture nowadays that’s completely needle-free.
Go Forest Bathing (Aka, Hike or Walk Outside)
Fresh air, grounding, and gentle exercise. These elements are known for their amazing healing abilities and command over the nervous system. Think back to the last time you were immersed in nature. Did all the stress melt away after just a few minutes with your bare feet on the ground?
Forest bathing is a term used by the Japanese — who actually prescribe this simple walk in the trees as a treatment for various ailments. There’s no requirement for how long you walk or where you go — simply that you allow yourself to be fully present and relaxed.
Decrease Your Adrenaline Output
Have you considered that your body may be getting an adrenaline high from intense TV shows and true crime podcasts? Remember, your nervous system does not understand the difference between a stressful event happening on TV and one happening in real life.
When given large doses of adrenaline (through a traumatic event or long-term stress), the body may begin to crave more adrenaline over time to give itself that “high.” Just like adrenaline junkie rock climbers and thrill-seekers.
If you find yourself going through a mental to-do list in the car or in the shower — only to crash the moment you face reality, it’s possible that your body is looking for adrenaline.
Pay attention to activities that might be spiking your adrenaline, and temporarily swap them out for calmer options. Watch all your favorite rom-coms and pick low-intensity workouts next time you’re at the gym. These will calm your nervous system and work to heal it naturally.
Benefits of Maintaining a Calm Nervous System as You Age
These tips and tricks aren’t only for the purpose of calming panic attacks and finally getting some shut-eye. When you reset your nervous system, you open up all sorts of possibilities, like:
Improved emotional health
Better brain function
Longer attention span
Better performance at work and at home
Decreased risk for disease
Normal blood pressure
Over time, your body will begin to relax and regulate just as a matter of habit, without band-aid solutions.
How Does This Support My Cellular Health?
Did you know? Chronic nervous system damage can damage endothelial cells.
Endothelial cells create a membrane that coats the heart and blood vessels. These vital cells are responsible for regulating blood pressure, heart contractions, blood clotting, and so much more. When you take care of your nervous system health, you are giving your heart the gift of strength and vitality.
BodyBio Can Help Repair Your Nervous System Naturally
Need help regulating your nervous system, but don’t know where to start?
BodyBio Calm uses a blend of adaptogen herbs, stress-relieving amino acids, and brain-boosting phosphatidylserine to support your daily rituals by increasing mental performance, balancing your body’s stress response, and combating anxiety.
Fisher, J. P., Young, C. N., & Fadel, P. J. (2009). Central sympathetic overactivity: maladies and mechanisms. Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical, 148(1-2), 5–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autneu.2009.02.003
Heirene, R. M., Shearer, D., Roderique-Davies, G., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2016). Addiction in Extreme Sports: An Exploration of Withdrawal States in Rock Climbers, Journal of Behavioral Addictions J Behav Addict, 5(2), 332-341. Retrieved Jun 14, 2022, from https://akjournals.com/view/journals/2006/5/2/article-p332.xml
König, N., Steber, S., Seebacher, J., von Prittwitz, Q., Bliem, H. R., & Rossi, S. (2019). How Therapeutic Tapping Can Alter Neural Correlates of Emotional Prosody Processing in Anxiety. Brain sciences, 9(8), 206. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080206
Yu, C. P., Lin, C. M., Tsai, M. J., Tsai, Y. C., & Chen, C. Y. (2017). Effects of Short Forest Bathing Program on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Mood States in Middle-Aged and Elderly Individuals. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(8), 897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080897
Krucoff, M. O., Rahimpour, S., Slutzky, M. W., Edgerton, V. R., & Turner, D. A. (2016). Enhancing Nervous System Recovery through Neurobiologics, Neural Interface Training, and Neurorehabilitation. Frontiers in neuroscience, 10, 584. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00584
Breit, S., Kupferberg, A., Rogler, G., & Hasler, G. (2018). Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044