How can you gently move your body to support and soothe your nervous system?
Lately I’ve been having conversations with women about how they are feeling frazzled and unsettled in their minds and bodies, and I must admit I have been too.
So now it’s time to do something about it so I can move forward and start feeling better.
This month I had a few health issues arise that stirred up my gut and digestion which made me feel anxious about food (as everything I’m eating is reacting in my gut) and a noisy mind that doesn’t want to settle down. Even though I have a lot of knowledge to help me get back to good health it was still unsettling and shook me around a bit. I had to find that thing I needed to do, that ‘circuit breaker’ to stop this cycle and get me back on track again.
So, what I did was to continue to move my body and for me it was going for a gentle daily walk. Some days it was 10min and others it was 20min, but I made it a nonnegotiable that I needed to walk each day.
Usually, I do my 40min daily walks first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, because it helps me to start my day off feeling good as I’ve not only moved my body, but I have also spent time in nature which is therapeutic within itself.
Also, I find when you have exercised on an empty stomach your body’s metabolism is more efficient and then ready to have a nourishing breakfast and gather all those important nutrients to help fuel the body for the day.
We are all busy women, fitting so many things into our day that trying to add in another routine or practice into our lives can seem overwhelming. I know I’m wanting to create a healthier work life balance (which is a constant work in progress) so adding in movement to your already busy life can feel an impossible task.
So, this is how I propose to add gentle movement into your schedule.
Spend some time out in the garden.
Choose gentle movement that you enjoy.
Take five deep breaths regularly throughout the day.
Use ankle or wrist weights while you’re cleaning or moving around.
Go for a walk when you catch up with a friend.
While you’re watching TV sit on the floor and stretch or lay on your stomach looking up at the TV to stretch the front of your body.
The list can be endless, as there are always ways for you to gently move your body. From breathing to yoga and everything in between.
Any of these gentle movement practices (or one that you choose) can help support your nervous system and its purpose to receive and respond to internal and external information.
I’m going to get a bit technical here so you can understand how stress can affect your nervous system and your body and why we are feeling so fried these days.
When stress is received by the nervous system a response happens in your body that effects how other organs function. Here are some examples, the immune and digestive system’s role can be inhibited and reduced by stress which can leave you with lowered immunity. Under stress another organ that gets effected are your adrenals as they produce bursts of cortisol because your body perceives it’s in danger. If we lived in the hunter gather times this response is very effective but we’re not and when this happens repeatedly it can create fatigue, exhaustion and hormonal imbalances.
So, why is it so important to soothe and support your nervous system?
As you can see the nervous system influences many major roles in the body and by looking after your nervous system and soothing your stress response you are going to improve your energy, digest food effectively, strengthen your immunity and balance your hormones.
And this is why gentle movement is so important, because when you’re moving your body, it starts making your feel-good hormone, serotonin and that supports your nervous system to work effectively.
If you choose a movement that you enjoy, you not only get to stimulate serotonin but also look after your nervous system and make sure you’re going to have a happy and healthy day.
What gentle movement practice brings you joy?
To your health and wellness!