Your nervous system alerts your body…time for a fight!
Or…it decelerates and tells your body to relax and recover from the last stress that came by.
Whatever your body’s way of coping with stress, the nervous system can be a big part of the equation.
What Causes Stress In Your Nervous System?
Stress management includes many aspects as I’ve explored in other articles.
Let’s look at your nervous systems way of dealing with stress and how you can start reducing stress and anxiety by controlling the stress response.
Your nervous system is run by the inner three-year old that manages your subconscious mind.
It is this little child that listens to your thoughts and then makes the decision to go in one direction or the other with stress symptoms.
(Remember how we covered in an earlier article that the inner three-year old can choose battle preparation-the Fight/Flight/Freeze response or relax and recover?)
If you aren’t using the types of stress management techniques I’ve been showing you, most of us react to stress out of habit, not choice.
Managing Stress Means Taking Your Stress Response Off Auto-Pilot
If you are like the majority of the population (estimated at over 66% of us) your body uses your nervous system as part of your stress response.
And when you experience sustained stress for a period of time (this can be over a relatively short timeframe) or with a great deal of frequency or intensity, and your nervous system is drawn into action, your nervous system can stay engaged without provocation.
This stress response system can then react out of habit and the nervous system can then stay activated with no need for a trigger or input from your mind at all!!!
Unfortunately without taking steps to train your body to find a positive way of dealing with stress, your nervous system can just keep firing in an effort to keep you safe…from no real danger by the way!
Our stress response can also be triggered by conditions in your environment that over-tax a body like being too hot or too cold.
It can activate over toxins in your air or food or even seemingly small things like loud noises or bright lights or poor sleep.
Other times it is a BIG stressor like a poor diet, or because your body is overloaded trying to heal from an injury or illness.
But you do have a choice in how your nervous system reacts…
Building New Habits For Stress Management
When you think about the input from your own mind with all those thoughts every single moment of every single day….this is a big player and one that you have a lot of choice about throughout your day.
Lucky for us, the nervous system is sensitive to the sound of your inner voice.
Said another way, you can choose the mood of your thoughts.
To build this new habit for stress management, we will work on exercises where you notice the sound of your voice and how that triggers tension or quieting in your body.
This little piece of biofeedback training shows you the sound that calms your body.
And this simple exercise is going to be really important now.
Visualize Calming Stress Relievers
When I have taught this area of self-awareness and self-regulation over the years I generally ask my clients to imagine how calm you would have to be if a wild deer was willing to feed from your hands.
I use this calming visualization because the nervous system we are focusing on IS the part of us that is the most like a wild deer.
Think of this nervous system as the part of us that is most like the other members of the animal kingdom….part of nature.
Ready to take flight at a moment’s notice!
Sensitive and sensing your surroundings like smells, images, feeling and sounds…especially the sound your own inner voice makes when you think or speak to yourself.
Looking For More Stress Management Tips?
In the next articles, I’ll give you some more stress reduction tips you can use to relieve stress symptoms and take control of your health. We’ll talk about this inner voice.
See you then!
Want to learn more about stress management?
Take the first step!
Click here for my Special Report: Biofeedback Training- Discover the Power of Your Mind to Control Your Body
Author: Jinny Joy LaRock, RN, BCB Sr. Fellow