Reset Central Nervous System: How to Get Calm

reset central nervous system

Unlock Wellness: Steps to Reset Your Central Nervous System

When I hit a wall in my coaching business, all the knowledge in the world wasn’t fixing my problem. I was stuck, but I didn’t feel stuck intellectually.

You need more than a strong mindset to navigate life’s stressors. It requires a somatically balanced central nervous system. With powerful guidance from experienced somatic coaching, I was introduced to the empowering concept of a nervous system reset. This is not just about temporary relief.

It’s about fostering long-term resilience and stability by understanding your body’s responses to stress. My problem was in my body and the way I was responding to stress that I had not physically processed in a healthy way.

Embracing a nervous system reset can transform your approach to stress, significantly enhancing your overall well-being. I want to help guide you through practical techniques and lifestyle modifications to achieve a balanced nervous system. I love focusing on somatic practices and mindset. So you’ll also learn how to support your body’s ability to regulate itself. This helps ensure you remain adaptive and resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

As a business coach, I realized how important somatics was to my long term success. Remaining adaptive will help you face the unpredictable stresses of entrepreneurship.

Understanding the Central Nervous System

The Central Nervous System (CNS), comprising the brain and spinal cord, acts as the command center for your entire body. It’s responsible for receiving, processing, and responding to all sensory information. Imagine it as the headquarters where all critical decisions are made, from simple reflexes to complex emotions.

Key Components of the CNS:

  1. Brain: The brain is divided into two hemispheres. Each responsible for various functions like emotion, thought processing, and memory. The cerebral cortex is split into four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal). They each plays a unique role in how we interact with the world.
  2. Spinal Cord: Located within the vertebral column, it relays sensory information and sends motor commands. It’s your body’s information superhighway, transmitting messages to and from the brain at lightning speed.

The CNS is not just about processing and sending signals. It’s also linked to the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which extends to limbs and organs. The PNS is divided into the somatic nervous system, managing voluntary movements, and the autonomic nervous system. It oversees involuntary actions like heart rate and digestion.

These different systems ensure that your body responds appropriately to different situations, maintaining a balance known as homeostasis. By understanding these components, you’re better equipped to appreciate how a reset can significantly enhance your body’s regulation and overall well-being.

Signs of a Dysregulated Nervous System

Recognizing the signs of a dysregulated nervous system is crucial for taking timely steps to reset and restore balance in your life and in your business. Let’s look at the various symptoms that might indicate your nervous system could be out of sync.

Physical Symptoms

  1. Cardiovascular Signs: You may notice your heart racing or palpitations which aren’t linked to physical exertion.
  2. Respiratory Changes: Rapid breathing or feeling short of breath can occur without physical demands.
  3. Muscular Tension: Persistent muscle tension or spasms, especially in the neck and shoulders.
  4. Digestive Disturbances: Experiencing stomachaches, nausea, or other gastrointestinal issues without a clear medical cause.

Emotional and Cognitive Symptoms

  • Emotional Overload: Frequent feelings of irritability, heightened anxiety, and a pervasive sense of being overwhelmed or constantly on edge.
  • Cognitive Disruptions: You might find yourself with racing thoughts, struggling to concentrate, or experiencing forgetfulness and memory lapses more frequently.

Broader Health Impacts

  • Sleep and Sensory Issues: Difficulty sleeping or feeling fatigued during the day, alongside a heightened sensitivity to light, sound, or touch.
  • Pain and Chronic Conditions: Manifestations of chronic pain, recurrent migraines, or other chronic illnesses can be a signal.
  • Behavioral Changes: Increased sensitivity to the emotional states of others, possibly leading to social withdrawal or overreaction in interpersonal interactions.

Understanding these signs can empower you to take action towards regaining your well-being. Somatic awareness and mindset adjustments will help you get there.

Other Nervous System Resources:

How a Regulated Nervous System Supports Your Nervous System

A well-regulated nervous system is your ally in navigating the stresses of entrepreneurship.

​​I​​t functions like a well-oiled machine, efficiently managing your body’s responses to stress, ensuring you remain both physically and emotionally balanced. By recognizing signs of dysregulation and responding adaptively, you harness a powerful wellness tool that enhances your overall well-being.

Key Benefits of a Regulated Nervous System

  1. Enhanced Emotional and Mental Health: Regular mindfulness practices like meditation and controlled breathwork help mitigate the overactive responses of the sympathetic nervous system. You will have reduced anxiety and improved mood.
  2. Improved Physical Health: Activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and regular exercise contribute to better physical health by stabilizing the nervous system.
  3. Quality Sleep and Dietary Habits: Prioritizing sleep and maintaining a diet rich in whole grains, lean meats, and vegetables supports the nervous system, which in turn boosts mental health.

Embracing lifestyle changes helps reset your nervous system, and also empowers you to handle stress better. Feeling good helps you stay calm in stressful situations, make better decisions. And those things help enhance your relationships, both personally and professionally.

Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic Nervous System

Learning about your autonomic nervous system (ANS) will help you master stress and increase relaxation.

The ANS is split into two critical branches: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Understanding the roles of each can empower you to reset your central nervous system effectively.

The Role of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS)

The SNS, often referred to as the “Fight-or-Flight” system, is your body’s rapid mobilizing force in response to perceived threats or stress.

It primes your body for action, accelerating your heart rate, increasing blood pressure, and boosting energy supplies. This response is crucial in situations requiring quick reactions. But if it’s triggered more than necessary it can cause a lot of extra stress.

The Role of the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)

In contrast, the PNS is known as the “Rest-and-Digest” system.

It serves as a calming force, promoting relaxation and aiding in the body’s recuperation after stress. Activities that enhance your PNS, such as deep breathing or meditation, can improve vagal tone—a key aspect of activating the relaxation response. This is particularly significant for individuals with ADHD or autism, who may experience reduced vagal tone, making it harder to be calm.

By consciously engaging the PNS and trying to lessen the SNS’s overactivity, you can maintain a healthier balance, reduce stress, and increase your tolerance for stress.

The more you understand the physical motivations behind your body’s reactions, the more you can grow your tolerance for high stress situations in life and as an entrepreneur.

Practical Techniques for Nervous System Reset

Deep Breaths and Meditation

  1. Activate the Relaxation Response: Start by incorporating deep breathing exercises into your daily routine. This simple technique can significantly lower stress levels by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. Just five minutes of deep, mindful breathing can begin to ease your mind and body. You can also try alternate nostril breathing.
  2. Establish a Regular Meditation Practice: Meditation is not just for moments of spiritual insight but is a practical tool to reduce anxiety and enhance focus. Aim for at least 10 minutes of meditation daily. Over time meditation can lead to better sleep and a more resilient nervous system.
  3. Autogenic Training: Learn to use self-hypnosis to calm your mind. Repeating soothing phrases can help manage stress and foster a peaceful state of mind.

Physical Techniques

  1. Yoga for Body and Mind: Engage in yoga to combine the benefits of physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga reduces stress and promotes relaxation. This makes yoga a powerful component of your nervous system reset.
  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. It helps in reducing physical tension and can be especially beneficial before bedtime for restful sleep.
  3. Cold Showers: Showers with cold water stimulate the body’s autonomic nervous system, leading to an increase in alertness and a reduction in stress levels. This effect can help reset the central nervous system by improving its adaptability and resilience to stress.
  4. Hot Bath: taking a hot bath can help reset your nervous system by promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels, as the warmth increases blood flow and soothes muscle tension. This physiological response can trigger a state of calmness, aiding in the reduction of anxiety and potentially improving sleep quality by calming the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response.

Advanced Techniques and Lifestyle Adjustments

  1. Neurofeedback and Biofeedback: Explore neurofeedback to monitor and adjust your brain waves for better mental health. You can also try biofeedback to gain more control over bodily functions typically outside of conscious control, like your heart rate and muscle tension.
  2. Regular Physical Exercise: Incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your daily routine. Regular physical activity is proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance sleep quality.
  3. Nutrition and Sleep: Do not underestimate the power of a balanced diet and adequate sleep. Both are foundational to maintaining optimal central nervous system health and can dramatically improve your response to stress.

​Other Nervous System Work

The human body is incredibly resilient. Capable of recovering from various forms of stress, including the aftermath of a traumatic event.

When  you experiences a traumatic event, the body’s stress response can become heightened, leading to an overactive nervous system. This state of hyperarousal can show in numerous ways, such as anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

One effective approach to resetting the nervous system involves vagus nerve stimulation.

The vagus nerve is often referred to as the most influential nerve in the body, playing an important role in regulating the body’s response to stress. Techniques that stimulate the vagus nerve help calm an overactive nervous system. This helps provide relief from the continuous stress response triggered by trauma.

There are lots of ways to stimulate the vagus nerve. Deep and slow breathing exercises, gentle yoga, and even simple activities like singing or humming stimulate the vagus nerve. These methods can help shift the body away from the stress response and promote a state of relaxation and recovery.

Lifestyle Modifications for Sustained Nervous System Health

Embrace Regular Physical Activity

To maintain a robust central nervous system, exercise 150 minutes per week. Regular physical activity not only encourages nerve regeneration but also enhances muscle strength, reducing the risk of neuropathy, especially as you age. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a cycling session, or a dance class, find activities that you enjoy and make them a part of your routine. This consistent movement keeps your nervous system in check.

Prioritize Nutritional Excellence

Adopting a diet rich in nutrients supports a healthy nervous system. Consider the Mediterranean diet, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. Foods rich in Vitamin B12, such as eggs, lean meats, and dairy, are essential for nerve function. Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and add nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens to your diet. These dietary choices not only nourish your nervous system but also enhance your overall health.

Manage Lifestyle Factors

Maintaining good health helps with nervous system regulation. Limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and managing conditions like diabetes are vital for nervous system health. Regular checks of your medication can prevent side effects that may cause or worsen neuropathy. Additionally, engaging in relaxation practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can significantly reduce stress hormones and promote a calm state. Ensure you get adequate sleep for the recovery and rejuvenation of your nervous system, and maintain regular health check-ups to keep track of your blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels.

Work on Mindset

Trauma affects your mindset. The human nervous system is intricately linked to our emotional state and thoughts. Chronic stress, characterized by prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels, can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to a range of physical and mental health issues. Working on your mindset is a powerful strategy to counteract these effects, helping to regulate your nervous system in several key ways. Regularly challenging and replacing negative thoughts with more positive, realistic ones can significantly lower cortisol levels. This practice helps shift the emotional state from one of distress to one of calmness and control.

By reducing the frequency and intensity of negative thoughts, you directly decrease the stress response triggered by your nervous system, leading to a more balanced emotional state. Working on your mindset through simple, deliberate actions on a regular basis can profoundly influence your emotional state and help regulate your nervous system.

Conclusion

Now we are armed with the knowledge and techniques for a nervous system reset. A nervous system reset can transform our overall well-being. From understanding the central nervous system’s workings to recognizing the signs of dysregulation, and diving into practical strategies for fostering balance. We’ve discussed what it takes to navigate life’s stressors and come out on the other end balanced. The tools and practices shared don’t just promise a temporary sanctuary from stress. They offer a roadmap to sustained well-being and a life lived with a deeper sense of calm and readiness.

Let’s turn these insights into action. Remember, it’s the small, consistent steps towards embracing physical activity, prioritizing nutrition, and managing lifestyle factors that accumulate into profound changes in our mental, emotional, and physical health. By making these commitments to ourselves, we not only reset our nervous systems but also step into a world of enhanced wellness and vitality. So, let’s continue this journey with enthusiasm, supporting our body’s innate ability to find balance and thrive amidst life’s ebbs and flows.

FAQs

1. What are some methods to reset your central nervous system?
To reset your central nervous system and restore balance, consider the following techniques:

  • Engage in deep breathing exercises such as a physiological sigh.
  • Get active with some physical exercise.
  • Use a weighted blanket to provide comforting pressure.
  • Practice meditation to calm your mind.
  • Incorporate mindfulness into your daily activities to help manage stress.
  • Sing or laugh to release tension.
  • Give yourself a massage or a hug to soothe your body.
  • Try tapping techniques to enhance relaxation.

2. What can I do to restart my central nervous system (CNS)?
To help restart your CNS, you can hum, chant, or sing. These activities stimulate the vagus nerve, which triggers the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system, moving your body away from the stress-induced fight-or-flight response.

3. How can I realign my nervous system?
Realigning your nervous system involves several strategies that activate your parasympathetic nervous system to achieve balance:

  • Minimize stress as much as possible.
  • Regularly practice meditation.
  • Consider getting massages to relax your body.
  • Engage in yoga to benefit both mind and body.
  • Pay attention to nutrition and maintain a balanced diet.
  • Keep up with regular exercise.
  • Explore osteopathy for body alignment and health.
  • Ensure you get adequate sleep to recover and rejuvenate.

4. How can you reset your nervous system in just 30 seconds?
A quick way to reset your nervous system in 30 seconds is by performing a physiological sigh. This involves taking a deep breath in through your nose, followed by a smaller breath in, and then a long exhale through your mouth. This technique helps to rapidly reduce stress and bring about a sense of calm.

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