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Your body functions in certain ways which indicate whether it is relaxed or not.
This is operated through our nervous systems.
The two main nervous systems that relate to us feeling relaxed or stressed are the Parasympathetic Nervous System and the Sympathetic Nervous System.
Through understanding your nervous systems, your approach to life may change and for the better.
The Nervous Systems
The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is responsible for the
The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is responsible for the
When our calm response is active our body is in a state of BALANCE.
For instance, our body is
- Digesting food
- Our heart rate is slow and steady
- Our body burns body fat for fuel
Being in this state of balance regularly, helps us be HEALTHY and HAPPY.
When our stress response is active our body is OUT OF BALANCE.
For instance, our body
- Stops functioning areas of our body
- The digestive system is put on hold
- Our heart rate accelerates
- Our pupils are dilated
- Our body pumps as much adrenaline as possible into our muscles for strength to fight or run
- Our body uses glucose for fuel instead of body fat
The purpose of the stress response is survival.
It is particularly useful in situations when our life is in immediate danger of death.
Our body responds by making us stronger to fight or run.
For most people the threat of life and death is not a regular issue, however, the stress response is being activated more than ever in this modern age.
Even though people are not in immediate danger, the body is still responding the same way to issues that a person may get emotionally worked up about. This could be as simple as a work email.
Many people get stressed out over several issues daily and therefore be in the stress response state regularly.
The consequence of being in the stress response regularly is that the body hardly has a chance to function in a balanced state.
This can lead to health complications and the manifestation of sicknesses.
Imagine the impact on your body when the digestive system is put on hold constantly due to stress. This can lead to illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The true sense of relaxation is when your calm response is activated, and your body is in a state of balance.
So every time you feel yourself stressing out about something, but you’re not in any immediate physical danger, think about your nervous systems and the effect that it has on the functioning of your body.
Take a moment to breathe and do something that will help you relax, like a walk or listening to calming music.