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An incredibly easy way to lower your stress

Updated: Mar 18


There are a lot of stress management techniques out there, yet when I look at the latest research stress is on the rise.


Do you know that whether you live in a state of stress or not matters? Of course, it matters to your health, because almost all twenty-first century disorders can be traced back to stress. But stress impacts the way you feel, the decisions you make around food or your fitness level, how you show up in your life, or the quality of your relationships.


Our bodies and minds are very powerful and anything you do, and feel is up for interpretation. And when we talk about stress, we have to discuss the main decision maker, and that is your nervous system.


In today’s blog post, I want to show you the role your nervous system plays when it comes to stress. Because once you have the data, you can come up with an action plan!


Are you part of my community? Join HERE my PRIVATE, FREE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals to accelerate your health and wellness!



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The beauty of the nervous system

I trust you know that our body’s primary role is to survive. It will do anything to keep you alive, even if you don’t agree with some of its actions. And stress response is one of those actions.

There are a lot of systems involved during the fight or flight response, but I want to bring your attention to the nervous system.


The nervous system consists of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is further composed of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). And those two branches play a major role when it comes to the way how you experience almost anything in your body.


The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) differ, especially when we look at the role they play.


The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is dominant when our ‘fight or flight’ response, aka stress response, is activated.


The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) on the other hand promotes the ‘rest and repair’ state.

As you can see, both are vital and irreplaceable, but their dominance throughout your day will make a big difference in almost everything you do or feel. The more your nervous system spends in fight or flight response, the more stressed and overwhelmed you will be. The chain of reactions will lead you to brain fog, fatigue, sadness, or even anger and your productivity and self-reliance are out of the window.


Making any lifestyle choices in such a state is not going to be easy.


It can be very challenging to follow through on your goals, stick to your fitness regime, or make healthy food choices all the time if your SNS drives you.


Unfortunately, so many of us get stuck in our stress response, that the SNS is in dominance far too often and for far too long than it should be.


Breathe

Our health goal must be to live in PNS more often than in the SNS. When you live in a state of rest and repair, you can make common-sense decisions, support your mental and physical health and thrive.


What’s more your body will thank you.


The only time when the PNS does not compete with SNS for dominance is during sleep. After all, this is the time when all your repair and regrowth functions happen. I cannot stress the importance of good quality sleep, especially when you are under a lot of stress.


But what can you do when your life is a rollercoaster, your to-do list has so many items listed that you lost count and you always feel tired?


You need to breathe.


Diaphragmatic breathing is the only known way (so far) to activate our parasympathetic nervous system. Diaphragmatic breathing signals your body that you are safe and that PNS can take over the control.


Diaphragmatic breathing, also called deep belly breathing, helps you to stay calm and feel relaxed. It also delivers more fresh oxygen to your body, including your brain which helps you to think clearer, stay focused and look for positive solutions.


So, let’s breathe!


Conclusions

Our nervous system plays a major role when it comes to stress. First of all, it is important to understand that we need both, PNS and SNS to function well. Neither is good nor bad because SNS has to be activated from time to time to well, keep us out of trouble.


But the problem starts when our primary dominance is SNS. If you stay in prolonged periods of SNS dominance, your decision-making abilities, especially when it comes to your health, are tempered with. What’s more, SNS dominance means that your body is in a constant stress response, and major health changes can happen.


The PNS should be your dominant state. The only time when PNS doesn’t compete for dominance is during sleep. But through the day to switch from your SNS dominance to PNS dominance you need to breathe.


Diaphragmatic breathing will do wonders for your mental and physical health and will keep stress at bay.


So, are you ready to breathe?


Are you part of my community? Join HERE my PRIVATE, FREE Facebook Group: Accelerate with Anna Doktor: A Health and Wellness Goals Building Community for the busy professionals to accelerate your health and wellness!


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