How to improve your quality of life on a mind, body and spiritual level
Nervous system regulation has been a big topic in the recent months and certainly is not an easy one to achieve when living a busy life.
There are 2 types of nervous systems, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system (somatic and autonomic) The entire nervous system is connected from our brain and carries information to the rest of the body as well as the body carrying information to the brain. This complex and powerful system of ours can become deregulated from any types of life stressors like a sudden traumatic event, a prolonged traumatic life experience like childhood abuse, emotional abuse in the workspace, bullying at school, physical or emotional abuse in relationships, stress and burnout, substance abuse.
When it comes to nervous system regulation it is always essential to seek professional help and work on a mind, body and energy level (e.i hypnotherapy, psychologist, EMDR, breath work, acupressure, acupuncture).
Now, please know these practices will never be enough if you don’t change also your daily / weekly habits to support all the good work you may already be doing.
Here are a few simple yet highly effective daily and weekly practices to start incorporating into your life:
- Grounding in nature – walking barefoot !
Spending time in nature as much as possible and walking barefoot or sitting on the earth, swimming in a lake or in the ocean is a must !
Our modern lifestyle has a damaging effect on our body, we are bathed in a sea of unnatural man-made electronic radiation from household appliances, mobile phones, wi-fi, microwaves and cell towers, which bombard us continuously with excess free radical damage to our tissues and cells, which inevitably has a damaging effect on our emotions, and nervous system.
The earth’s powerful energy helps clean these free radicals so our body can heal and repair itself naturally.
Here are another few benefits of grounding :
- Reduce fatigue and increased energy
- Reduce inflammation
- Enhance/elevate mood
- Reduce blood pressure and hypertension
- Support heart health
- Improve Sleep Quality
- Reduces anxiety and stress.
2. Getting some sunshine if possible 15 to 20 mins a day.
As we know, the sun rays are responsible for boosting our serotonin levels .
Serotonin plays a key role in such body functions as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and sexual desire. Serotonin levels that are too low or too high can cause physical and psychological health problems.
3. Limiting hours on our phones and electronics :
As mentioned above, EMF radiation is everywhere and damaging to our health. Excessive smartphone use is associated with difficulties in cognitive-emotion regulation, impulsivity, impaired cognitive function, addiction to social medias, shyness and low self-esteem and increasing anxiety.
The best way to start is to limit screen time first thing in the morning and before going to bed which are the most critical times for nervous system regulation.
4. Hugging the people you love and connecting
A daily dose of hugging will help your body release oxytocin, which the hormones responsible for triggering feelings like happiness, higher self esteem, relaxation and calmness.
It also tempers the stress of conflict, relieves blood pressure, and ensures a healthy heart.
Feeling connected plays a big part in our overall mental well-being and healing from trauma, science recognise that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Studies show they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative and as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being.
5. Daily light exercise
According to the book ‘ikigai”, studies suggest that the people who live longest are not the ones who do the most exercise but rather the ones who moves the most. Metabolism slows down after 30 minutes of sitting, which will cause bad cholesterol to start accumulating and start affecting overtime some of your organs and glands which produces emotions.
These emotions being released by the imbalanced organs and gland will start causing mental disorders such as, depression, anxiety etc…
6. Deep conscious belly breathing
Breathing deeply, with a slow and steady inhalation to exhalation ratio, signals our parasympathetic nervous system to calm the body down.
Long, deep breaths can also manage our stress responses to help decrease anxiety, fear, racing thoughts, a rapid heartbeat and shallow chest breathing. These responses can directly impact our physical, mental and emotional health, and longevity.
Eating mindfully and slowly – your stomach does not have teeth
Eating slowly and chewing properly will help you start reconnecting your mind to your body.
It is important to make sure to take enough time and space around meal times so you don’t feel pressured to eat too fast.
Not engaging in conversations that will trigger any strong emotions is also essential.
As you are eating your meal, start by putting the fork down with every mouthful you take, chewing the food until it’s broken down properly (this will allow the energy component of the nutrients to go directly to your brain).
Notice how full you are – the rule is to be 80% full, feeling too full will immediately make your digestion work harder and therefore use a lot of energy during this process.
Being too full also will have a negative impact on your digestive fire and cause important digestion issues in the long run.
7. Reading a book
Studies have shown that reading as little as 5 minutes per day can improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and sharpen mental acuity. Reading strengthens the neural circuit and pathways of our brain while lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
The ability to empathise and engage with diverse stories outside of our own lived experiences can bring us a greater sense of human connection and empathy. This often leads to stronger relationships and shared understanding.
8. listening to your favourite musics / dancing
Understanding how music affects your emotions goes a long way to help ease anxious and depressive thoughts.
Music can change the way we act, feel and think. Use frequency music for focus and sleeping.
Meditation, has personally helped me regulate my flight /flight/ freeze to a state of awareness and sharper focus.
The key here is to be mindful of what’s realistic for you, 10 mins to 15 mins per day (in the morning is best) is already enough to have a powerful impact on your mind and body.
Steps to meditate :
Sitting in a comfortable position, the most important is having your back and spine straight.
Start by feeling your breathing coming in and out of your nose , in and out .. then sharpening your focus to feeling the air going into your lungs, feeling the movement of your lungs and air coming and out.
If you notice your mind drifting, and thoughts coming, just simply shift your focus back to your breathing. (this is completely normal as your conscious mind is still active during this process).
10. Opening your heart :
Practicing gratitude : every morning, writing 10 things down on paper or keeping a journal of the things that you are most grateful for will help rewire the neural circuits and pathways of your mind that will open your heart field – doing this every morning for 1 month will help change the way you feel and think about yourself and the world around you. It will also improve your relationships, raise your frequency, and help you calm your nervous system down.