Understand Your Nervous System to Reduce Stress

Published on 18 Jul, 2023

Understand Your Nervous System to Reduce Stress [Ep 42 Show Notes]

This week on the podcast I dive into the fascinating world of the nervous system and share specifically how we can work with our system in order to reduce stress and anxiety in our lives! At the end of the episode, I give you a simple practice that you can use today to start befriending your system and reduce stress.

Our nervous systems are vast and complex, so today I focus in on the workings of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls all the automatic processes in our bodies that operate below our conscious mind.

This is a picture of a peaceful woman with her hands on her head looking toward the sky and smiling. It links to a podcast epsiode about how to better understand your nervous system so that you can reduce stress and anxiety. Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash.

By understanding and befriending our nervous system we can reduce our stress levels and anxiety. Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash.

The Autonomic Nervous System & Stress

The autonomic nervous system governs our breathing, digestion, hormone levels, stress levels, our ability to respond to threats, and even our ability to connect with others and have deep, meaningful relationships. So to say the health of this system is important is a HUGE understatement!

While the ANS is primarily concerned with our survival, there is also a very important branch in humans and other hominids that is concerned with our social connection and bonding. So our ANS has evolved to not just help us survive, but thrive! How incredible is that?

The ancient Ayurvedic healers were aware of this complex system. They referred to it as the dance of the kundalini snakes and categorized it as part of the Majja Dhatu. And they prescribed certain Ayurvedic practices to correct imbalances in the Majja Dhatu and the ANS. Today we can use these ancient practices and work with our kundalini to build a more resilient nervous system.

Unfortunately, a dysregulated ANS creates a cascading effect of feelings and thoughts of danger, loneliness, and alienation. On the other hand, when our ANS is well-regulated we have a deep felt sense of safety and belonging in the world. So many people today are completely unaware of the massive effects that the state of their nervous system has on every aspect of their life.

But there is good news! There are practical, simple exercises that we can use to restore balance to our system. By building resilience and regulating our ANS we can reduce the amount of stress, anxiety, and other “negative emotions” that we feel on a day-to-day basis.

Tune into the full episode to learn…

    • What a regulated nervous system feels like
    • Why many of us are walking around with a dysregulated nervous system
    • How your ANS responds to stress
    • And the role your ANS plays in increasing and/or decreasing your stress and anxiety levels

Lastly, I share a simple, powerful practice that you can do today to start befriending your nervous system and building resilience.

Other Nervous System Resources & Mentors

In this episode, I mention my mentors Katie Silcox and Chris Muse who I studied under at the Shakti School. In addition to these mentors, studying the work of Stanley Rosenburg and Stephen Porges has also greatly deepened my understanding of the nervous system.

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Featured image: Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash

This is a picture of Eva Peterson. She is the host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and a life coach for changemakers and aspiring activists.

Welcome! I'm Eva, host of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast and blog. This is a place for changemakers, advocates, and aspiring activists to learn, heal, and get inspired. As a certified Life Coach, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and follow activist I'm here to support you in expanding your impact while thoroughly enjoying your life!

Self-care for Changemakers:
Be an Agent of Change Without Sacrificing Your Health