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It is important to develop strategies on how to calm your nerves. This article covers various tips and tricks, such as breathing exercises, visualizing a happy place, and working with cold water.
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EASY STEPS ON HOW TO CALM YOUR NERVES NATURALLY
We all have experienced stress in our lives and the way our body responds to it. When we experience a stressful situation, the sympathetic nervous system sends signals indicating danger and that we must be prepared to face it. When the danger passes, the parasympathetic nervous system signals that it is safe to relax and rest again.
Unfortunately, due to traumatic events, difficult or challenging situations, or ongoing stress, the parasympathetic nervous system does not always know how to relax and rest. This can lead to major health, mental health, and physical health issues, as well as problems in relationships.
A good way to visualize this is by comparing the sympathetic nervous system's signal of danger to the contraction of a bicep, which is unable to relax and release tension. The lack of regulation of the nervous system can increase fatigue, agitation, and irritability. In addition, it can cause explosive emotions and negative thoughts to spiral out of control, leaving us feeling as if we are constantly in danger. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to calm nerves in order to prevent these health issues and maintain our mental health.
HOW TO CALM YOUR NERVES
OWN THE BREATH
Taking nice deep breaths into the belly will help calm your nerves.
Then if you want to take it a step further, you can inhale for four seconds, hold it at the top for a minimum of four to eight seconds, and then exhale out eight seconds.
Taking nice long, deep, slow breaths in and out will calm your nerves naturally and quickly to tell the parasympathetic nervous system, “It's time to relax.”
The sympathetic nervous system will go: “Oh, yeah, that feels good!”
IDENTIFY THE EMOTION
Stop and pause and ask yourself how you are feeling. Avoid shoving the emotions down.
By identifying the emotions, you have the opportunity to release them from your energy field.
Visualization is a powerful tool for calming your nerves because the mind does not know the difference between reality and fiction.
VISUALIZATION: CREATE AN EMOTIONAL BALL OF ENERGY
Once you identify the emotion you are feeling, you can imagine it as a ball of energy in front of you and breathe with it.
The ball of energy may look different depending on the emotion. It may have a different color or texture.
All you have to do is breathe with it and imagine with every breath you take, the stress, the emotion is leaving your body, and the ball of energy is getting smaller.
While breathing, you can remind yourself that you are safe to look at this emotion.
Reminding yourself, you are safe in general is a very powerful spiritual practice that assists in relaxing the mind, body, and soul.
Eventually, as you breathe, the emotional ball of energy will completely disappear.
VISUALIZATION: GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a beautiful place that makes you feel good.
I call this your happy place! When you arrive, imagine this place's energy cleansing you and filling you with love and light.
COLD WATER PLUNGE
You can take a cold shower, do a cold bath plunge, splash cold water on your face, or dunk your face in cold water.
The cold water instantly gets your blood flowing. It will transmute the negative loop you are in and/or the emotions causing you to be stressed out.
The cold water elevates your mood and works with the parasympathetic nervous!
PAUSE BEFORE YOU REACT
It is essential to pause and take a deep breath before reacting to a difficult or stressful situation.
Doing so helps to calm your nerves, preventing it from entering fight-or-flight mode and keeping it in a state of peace.
The breath is the key to relieving stress and ridding the mind of negative thoughts.
When feeling overwhelmed, take at least ten conscious breaths; if still feeling tense, take three rounds of 10 more.
During this time, remind yourself you are safe and then choose how to react.
It is also okay to tell someone else, “Hold on a second, I need a moment,” if they are causing the stress.
I AM MANTRAS
Finally, as another way to calm your nerves, repeat an “I am” mantra to shift to a positive emotion after acknowledging the emotion that was felt.
This will help to create a more peaceful experience in the body and mind, granting access to a greater sense of well-being.
Taking the time to pause and calm your nerves is essential for your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
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Full transcription of the episode:
We all experience stress in our life. When our body is in a healthy state, it will recognize danger, it will recognize stress. The sympathetic nervous system will go, There's danger. There's danger. There's something stressing us out. And then eventually, the parasympathetic nervous system will say, You're safe. It's time to relax. It's time to rest. Everything's going to be okay. Unfortunately, when there are high levels of stress due to traumatic events, work, personal relationships, health issues, difficult or challenging situations, your parasympathetic nervous system doesn't know how to rest and relax.
And so the sympathetic nervous system is constantly sending signals. There's danger, there's danger, warning, warning, warning. And these warnings can cause major health, mental health issues, physical health issues, relationship issues, when this nervous system doesn't know how to reregulate itself. A good example that I can give to you that will create a visual is that your sympathetic nervous system sends a signal that there's danger and your bicep contracts.
And the bicep is contracted, and your parasympathetic nervous system does not send the signal that you are safe and that it's time to relax. Or it sends that signal, but your sympathetic nervous system still continues to believe that there is danger, danger, danger, danger. And so the bicep, that muscle never relaxes. It never takes the tension off. The contraction is always there. And guess what? You're going to get burned out. That arm is going to hurt. That body part is going to hurt.
Or eventually, the whole system will start to hurt because you'll become fatigued, you'll become agitated, you'll become irritated. And so it's so crucial to regulate your nervous system. So instead of the muscle contracting, what ends up happening is the mind can't get control. The body can't get control. And the mind will start racing. And it can be explosive emotions that come up in the most inopportune time. Or there's negative thoughts that are spiraling out of control that continue to make the sympathetic nervous system continue to feel that there is danger, continue to feel that it is not safe.
So how do we regulate the nervous system? Well, first, we want to take a breath. The breath is key. And it does not matter if you do some fancy breathing exercise or you just simply take long, slow breaths. I think that sometimes we are such in a state of fight or flight that it's hard to start counting. It's hard to start counting. I need to count in for four and exhale for eight. And if you can, if you're in a state that you are consciously aware that, Oh, my God. If I count, that this will allow me to relax more. Perfect. But maybe you're not in that state.
You can simply just take a nice deep breath in, hold it at the top, and then exhale out slowly. The key is deep, deep belly breathing. This will help reset the nervous system. Then if you want to take it a step further, you can inhale for four, hold it at the top for a minimum of four to eight seconds, and then you can exhale out eight seconds. This right here will regulate your nervous system pretty quickly to let the parasympathetic nervous system go, it's time to relax. And then the sympathetic nervous system will go, oh, yeah, that feels good.
So let's do it for just a moment. I'm going to count with you. You're going to inhale, one, two, three, four. Hold it at the top. One, two, three, four. Exhale out, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Pause. Inhale, one, two, three, four. Hold it, one, two, three, four, five, six. Exhale, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Pause. Inhale, one, two, three, four. Pause, hold it at the top. Six, five, four, three, two, one. Exhale, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Let your breathing come back. We just took three conscious breaths. How does your nervous system feel with just doing those breaths? The key is to do three rounds of 10 conscious breaths. Even if you can only just do 10 conscious breaths, you will feel your nervous system start to regulate itself in such a beautiful way. Another way that you can regulate your nervous system is to call out the emotion.
Oftentimes, we run from our emotions. So, if you're feeling angry, just say, You know what? I'm feeling angry right now. So instead of shoving it down and allowing it to be brushed under the rug, you simply stop and pause, take a breath, and you say, I feel angry right now. And I'm going to look at anger dead in the eye.
And you can imagine anger or that emotion as a ball of energy. And then you breathe with it. Maybe that anger or that emotion is sadness or frustration or frustration or disenchantment. Whatever the emotion is, maybe you give it a color and a texture, and you visualize it in front of you, and then you start to breathe. And as you breathe, the color gets smaller. The shape gets smaller. You can even imagine with every exhale that you take, the stress that emotion is leaving your body.
Eventually, with the breath that you're taking, these conscious breaths and you're visualizing this emotion, that emotion is going to completely disappear. And it might take you several rounds of breath. You might also have to say, I'm safe. I'm safe to feel this emotion. I'm safe to look at this emotion. Super powerful exercise. You can even imagine hugging it and breathing with it. Visualization is a really powerful tool when it comes to regulating the nervous system, because the mind does not know the difference between reality and fiction.
And so another way that you can regulate your nervous system is imagining your happy place. So you can bring yourself to maybe a beautiful place in nature. Maybe there's a beautiful waterfall or you're by the ocean. Or for me, I love imagining wheat fields or fields full of yellow flowers. Instantly, I get happy the second I imagine being there, or I imagine myself underneath a waterfall and the waterfall just hitting the top of my head. And it's cleansing my emotions out of my body. It's cleansing my soul. It's cleansing the stressors. It's cleansing the anxiety.
And you can imagine bringing yourself to this sacred space. And you're also doing this with the breath, so you might have to take a few breaths to even get into the state where you're like, Happy Place. I'm going to go to my happy place now. And it's really powerful.
The next way that you can regulate your nervous system is to work with cold water. You can splash cold water on your face. You can dunk your face in cold water. You can take a cold shower. You can take a cold bath. You can go plunge yourself into a cold body of water. This instantly sends blood flow. It starts to increase blood flow.
And this will assist in regulating the nervous system in a different way. It will transmute the loop that you're in. So, if you're in a super anxious state, or if you're in a super anxious, stressful anger state, it's going to snap you out of it so quickly because you're going to send that blood flow quickly into the body. There are so many health benefits with taking a cold shower or taking a cold bath. Ending on cold is really powerful as well. So, if you have been having a really hard time with stress, just end your shower on cold.
For me, I don't like being cold. It has been something that I've been working on. It's something that I started working on back at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020. I had to take a pause when I got pregnant, and I've reintroduced it back into my life and now my body craves the cold. It will crave, like, let's end our shower on cold. And it has taken me some time to step my way up to being very brave to get to get to the bottom of the coldest part of the water to just sprinkle that on my body and allow myself to shower myself with the cold water.
But I've stair stepped it. So, I will just take it where it's from hot, stair step it down a quarter, stair step it down another quarter. But now I've gotten to the point where I stair step it down a quarter, and then I go all the way to the bottom. And I will do at least two minutes. You could start off with 30 seconds. Now, please consult a doctor before doing this because if you are pregnant or you have other health issues going on, having the cold might not be something that's healthy or good for you. Remember, trust your body check in with your doctor.
The next way that you can regulate your nervous system is to pause before you react. So there's an electrical charge that goes through your body when you are reacting to a stressful situation, to a comment someone said, to an experience. There's an electrical charge that happens for 30 to 90 seconds, which is within the body. If you pause before you react and take a breath, remind yourself you're safe. Think about what you want to say before you say it. Remind yourself that you're present in your body, that your breath is available to you.
You can help regulate the nervous system by not reacting in such a stressful way that's going to keep your sympathetic nervous system in a state of fight or flight. This can be challenging because our system wants to react sometimes really quickly, and that's where the breath comes back in. If you notice I'm talking, like, bring the breath in, bring the breath in, bring the breath in, bring the breath in, because the breath is the key to peace. The breath is key to clearing out the negative thoughts in the brain or clearing out the reaction that will keep you in a reactive state.
So, using the breath, pausing for the 30 to 90 seconds before you react. And how do you know when to react? If your shoulders are still really tensed, if you are still very angry, pause a little longer. Take 10 conscious breaths. That will be at least a minute long if you're breathing deeply and slowly. Do three rounds of 10 conscious breaths before you react. Just so you know, if there's someone that's causing the stress or causing you to react in a particular way, well, one, you're responsible for the way that you react.
Two, there is nothing wrong with saying, “Hold on a second, I need a moment. Give me a break for just a moment, and I will share my thoughts with you in just a moment.” And it's retraining yourself not to react in such a way that's going to keep you in a state of stress. Your nervous system is so, so precious. The nervous system is going to support not only your mental health, but your physical health and your spiritual health. When we regulate the nervous system, we're also assisting in the soul's evolution. It's also creating a more peaceful experience as a human being in this flesh suit.
And the nervous system is constantly sending signals. You'll know if your nervous system is not regulated, if you're in a constant state of worry, if you are just so stressed out, you feel burnt out, you feel fatigued, you're not eating right, your stomach hurts, you have explosive emotions coming out. There are so many signs that the nervous system is not regulated, and you can use these steps to regulate the nervous system.
There's one more way that you can regulate the nervous system, and that is, and I've already said it already, to remind yourself you're safe, and to shift to a positive emotion after you acknowledge the emotion that you are feeling in that particular moment. And that is stating the feeling and the state of mind you want to be in. So, if you're sad and you felt that emotion just saying, I am so sad right now, I am so burnt out. I'm going to breathe, I am safe. I'm going to breathe some more. I am safe. Okay, I feel safe now. How do I really want to feel? I want to feel at peace. I am at peace. I am at peace. I am at peace.
'I am' mantras are super powerful. And you can state an I am statement when you're choosing the emotion that you want to feel or the state of mind that you want to be in, and it's super effective. You deserve to have a nervous system that is at rest and is relaxed when it is necessary for it to be in that state. We are going to have things that cause stress, cause excitement, cause nervous energy. And that's okay. It's just not okay when it doesn't relax, when it doesn't calm down. And so you can use these tricks, these tips to regulate your nervous system, and you'll start feeling a whole lot better.
I hope you've enjoyed today's episode. Please make sure you like and subscribe. Share this with a friend. I am so excited for us to continue to be in this journey together, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye.
All media content provided by Amy Robeson and Love, Light, & Yoga LLC is intended for entertainment or educational purposes only. None of this content is intended to offer, or replace qualified medical or health-related advice. All guided meditations and healings are for relaxation purposes. The author accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any injury, loss, or damage in any shape or form incurred in part or in whole, as a direct or indirect result of use or reliance upon the information and material presented here.
Do not watch or listen to any healings or meditations while driving or operating machinery where it is not safe for you to relax and fall asleep.