Supporting the nervous system while recovering from addiction
Long term stress and anxiety creates an overactive ‘flight or fight’ state and an underactive Para-sympathetic Nervous System.
The Para-sympathetic Nervous System is responsible for relaxing and calming the body and mind, to balance out impact from the ‘flight or fight’ stress response controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.
Learning how to activate or ‘switch on’ the Parasympathetic Nervous System helps to decrease anxiety and reduce the stress response. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, it produces a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body, which can assist with clear thinking, good decision making, capacity to relax, sleep and reduce risk of relapsing.
So what activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System?
- Spending regular time in nature – can be as simple as a walk outside – be intentionally present, looking, listening, and smelling the different parts of the natural landscape around you.
- Regular therapeutic massage – assists neural pathways, detoxification, and lymphatic drainage.
- A daily meditation or mindfulness routine – ideally start and end your day – even just 5 minutes will help. Lots of different options to try with the app ‘Insight Timer’
- Deep abdominal breathing from your diaphragm – the ‘4, 7, 8 technique’ is easy & effective – especially if you feel anxiety or stress levels rising.
- Using prayer or a mantra or a meaningful affirmation – especially if you feel anxiety or stress levels rising.
- Laughing and playing with animals or children.
- Non-intensive exercise like yoga or tai chi.
- Lots of fresh healthy food and very little processed, sugar or caffeine containing
Talk to Judith today, to find out more about balancing your nervous system