Our nervous systems aren’t designed to work overtime. It’s necessary to cut ourselves some slack sometimes and just take a break. These breaks aren’t luxuries, they are essential for our overall health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, there are a million and one things designed to keep us stressed on a daily basis and a vast majority of us get stuck in the stress loop.
From email notifications, to demands from work, kids running around, messages from clients, pressure from social media, and demanding requests from friends and family, it’s never been harder to maintain calm.
It’s no news that even when we stop working, our minds don’t. The resultant effect is that ever so often we go on to lean to antidepressants and other similar unhealthy alternatives.
The good news is you don’t have to put up with the stressors. There are easy ways to cultivate rest, resilience, and rejuvenation into our lifestyle.
Below are some top-notch methods for giving your nerves what they need, no matter what’s going on around you.
How do you handle stress without stuffing your system with drugs? Are there natural steps for handling stress? Here are a few tips you may appreciate.
Protecting Your Health From Things That Make You Sick
You know you need to rest but you can’t just find the time to do so and you don’t have an hour to spare to go to the spa for a massage or a hot bath.
The good news is you can find your chill and save yourself from a breakdown without doing so much. How? You’re already wondering. Your parasympathetic nervous system is the answer.
The parasympathetic nervous system, also called the “rest and digest system,” is what takes you from “totally stressed out ” to calm as a sleeping baby.”
Our parasympathetic nervous system is always active, trying to keep our wrecked nerves calm and relaxed. The problem is that many of us are constantly stressed, leaving the sympathetic nervous system (or fight or flight system) way too active. This makes it difficult for the parasympathetic system to do its job.
The solution is to find a way to strengthen our “rest and digest system” over the “fight or flight system.” In essence, you want to learn how to keep your nerves calm irrespective of what is going on within or around you. We’ve listed five easy ways you can go about this:
#1. Pray & Meditate
Did you know that it’s said that over 75% of people pray and meditate everyday. Even those who may be atheists or consider themselves non-religious still admit to praying and meditating every now and again to combat stress that life often brings.
Meditation and prayer has been scientifically proven to benefit both physical and mental health. Prayer and meditation moves the activity of the brain from various regions where stress may be held.
Prayer and meditation can help with anti-aging, creativity, learning and memory while lowering anxiety and depression. Prayer and meditation can be tools to improve overall quality of life, if practiced regularly.
#2. Give Yourself To Nature
The smell of trees, the sound of the oceans, the fragrance of salt water, the music of birds chirping all have a soothing effect on the human mind.
Countries like China, Korea and Japan have proven that immersion in nature can be therapeutic to stressed individuals. This is why they recommend forest therapy as a way of dealing with stress. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that you spend up to 120 minutes surrounded by nature.
What about a case where you don’t have a forest closeby? Or a situation where your forests are not safe? In this kind of situation, you can create your own mini nature. You can plant a garden or have a nature sound track or both even.
#3. Watch Your Company (Protect Yourself From Toxic People)
The brain has a mirroring system that can transmit energy levels from person to person. This is why it is important to watch the people you hangout with.
Instead of having a little pity party when stressed, why not surround yourself with positive, energetic people who will help lift you up. Sometimes, seemingly little things such as steering clear from people that alter your mood can go a long way towards giving your nerves the rest they need.
Give yourself to exercise, especially those of low intensity. There’s yoga, swimming, brisk walking, cycling etc. The tip here is to bring focus to the activity being done. This will calm your sympathetic nervous system, while helping to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
#5. Listen to Soft Music
Different kinds of music have different effects on our emotions and mental disposition. Hence, music is one of the most basic ways to handle stress and calm your nerves. Tune in to a radio station with soothing sounds or you can stream a couple of them online. Better still, have a playlist specially for this kind of music. Play them anytime you feel stressed.
#6. Breathe Deep
Deep breath exercises are the most used nerve calming method. This is simply because it can mostly be done anytime and anywhere. Take a couple of deep breaths. Count to eight while breathing in and do the same while breathing out.
#7. Eat Healthy Fats
Who knew fat could calm the nerves?. Surprising but true. Your nervous system and brain in general love fat.
Our nerve cells are wrapped in a somewhat protective coating known as myelin. This coating helps to cushion our nervous system. Studies have shown that eating fat keeps the myelin healthy by preventing demyelination, (i.e, the erosion of the myelin.).
Healthy fats include things like fatty fish, nuts, and avocado. Clarified butter is also another great option when it comes to including healthy fats in your diet.
#8. Get Some Warmth
You know that calm feeling that comes with a hot bath or a warm cuddle? You want more of that. Research has shown that warmth and calm go together.
If you’re feeling stressed, opt for a warm bath. It not only calms your nerves, it can help regulate your sugar level and reduce inflammation. To make it even more soothing, try including some healing herbs or tea.
#9. Take A Break
You want to prioritize being awake without necessarily overly stimulating your mind. Most of us live busy lives and sometimes we get sucked into the whole work cycle that we forget how to rest.
Even our attempts to rest are often nullified by engaging in activities that result in excess mind stimulation. You want to consider engaging in activities that provide low simulation such as meditation, yoga, doodling, gardening, listening to music, crafting, etc.
#10. Get Social
I know we talked about cutting down the noise and instead opting for calm and silence when your nerves are broken. But it could also help to get social.
Research has shown that being social largely influences our parasympathetic nervous system. To this end, you want to surround yourself with a few people who help you feel grounded—it could help you calm your nerves.
Having good stable mental health should be a priority to you because your mental health determines how productive and physically healthy you will be. So, you want to do all things possible and safe to ensure that your mind is healthy, stable, clear and strong. We’re cheering you on.