One of the most complex and critical systems in the body is our nervous system. It works in harmony to communicate with our body and gathers information from touch, smell, taste, sight, smell, and sound. There are two main parts of our nervous system, they include the central nervous system (made up of the brain and spinal cord) as well as the peripheral nervous system (consists of nerves and ganglia). Did you know that the body actually has billions of nerve cells?! It’s hard to even imagine all that goes on behind the scenes.
Without even realizing it, so many of us are walking around with dysregulated nervous systems without a clue as to what is going on. A dysregulated nervous system can impact our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We can become more erratic, feel easily overwhelmed, snappy, reactive, deal with sleep issues, have skin or gut conditions, and so much more. The bottom line is that a dysregulated nervous system can impact many different aspects of health and causes us to lack balance in the body.
The good news is that it is possible to regulate your nervous system through consistent practices, routines, and support. In this article we are going to cover 5 ways you can begin to regulate your nervous system to feel more peace, calm, balance, and groundedness.
Humming, chanting, or singing
You may already love to hum along to your favorite song, but did you know that there are actual mental health benefits associated with this? The Vagus nerve is connected to our vocal chords, so huming, chanting, and singing can stimulate this nerve. This vibration actually increases our vagal tone’s health. A low vagal tone can result in depression, anxiety, gut issues, and inflammation.
Breathing is something that happens throughout the day without us even needing to think about it. By actually being conscious of our breath and practicing deep breathing we can actually benefit the parasympathetic nervous system. This lets the anxious brain know that it is okay to relax and that you are safe. Deep breaths get more oxygen to the thinking brain.
Spending more time in nature:
These days, so many of us spend so much time in front of a screen and stuck indoors. Research shows that nature has the power to reduce feelings of fear, anger, and stress which and which in turn can benefit the nervous system. Time in green space decreases cortisol and has a profound ability to ground us. Afterall, we are biologically wired to spend time outside and under the sun.
Shake it off
We hold a lot of stress and tension in our body, especially when we feel overwhelmed and overstimulated after a busy day. By engaging in physically shaking off the worries and stress, we can actually calm the nervous system, which in turn calms our body and mind. Jumping up and down or dancing it out is a great way to do this. It might seem silly if you’re not used to it, but overtime it really can work.
Hugging, cuddling, and holding hands with someone we feel safe with just simply feels good. But did you know that physical touch actually has benefits for the nervous system! Through safe physical touch, the brain also releases serotonin and dopamine which regulate the pleasure centre of the brain and offsets feelings of anxiety.
Overall, nervous system regulation doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of these practices go back to the basics that we tend to overlook because we get too caught up in life’s stressful demands. By paying more attention to the signals of the body you’ll be able to help yourself become more grounded and calm. If you have any other nervous system regulation techniques we would love to hear your suggestions in the comment section of the blog below!