4 Ways to Nourish your Nervous System

burnout pleasure Oct 31, 2019

This week has me confronting how we continue to live our daily lives as the world burns, floods, melts, freezes. I’ve heard vulnerable accounts of how emotionally taxing and traumatic this week has been. The stress of living through climate change and evacuating from fire after fire has taken a toll.

I’ve seen research showing increased stress and suicidality in farmers living in drought-prone regions. I’ve seen the disastrous impacts of colossal weather events on largely developing and under-resourced countries.

I now understand why apocalyptic stories seem to be gaining popularity. The generation of kids growing up today are used to this. They’re used to wearing smoke masks to play outside, evacuating from natural disasters and rehearsing active shooter drills.

How do we go about living our daily lives when these types of events are the new normal?

Taking care of our nervous systems is incredibly important. Why? If you don’t help yourself get back to baseline after a stressful event or let daily stress compound, you're at greater risk of illness and you simply won’t be able to enjoy life as much.

I believe that we’re all here to live the biggest, most fully expressed lives we can. I hold the vision that through the madness that is to be alive on earth at this time, we are each meant to experience as much love and joy and vitality and ecstasy as we can. Taking care of your nervous system is essential to enjoy your life, be a good parent, partner, and human.

Consciously shifting our awareness to pleasure and doing what feels good helps regulate our nervous systems when we're stressed or scared or triggered. That's why hugs and massage and petting a dog can feel so calming. 

So whether you've had a stressful day at work or are struggling in some other way, I invite you to take 3 deep breaths while you simply stroke your arms, your scalp, your neck. 

Do this as many times as you like to activate calming and pleasurable chemicals that help you feel centered and resourced right now.

Here are a few concrete ways to bring pleasure into your life and regulate your nervous system:

  1. Massage: use oil (coconut and jojoba are great) and stroke your arms and legs, rub your feet
  2. Drink tea (chamomile, lemon balm, and oat straw are nervous system soothers)
  3. Replenish with leafy greens, berries, broth (we burn through B and C vitamins super fast when we're stressed)
  4. Have sex or receive sexual pleasure (the chemicals released during sexual pleasure have a downregulating effect on stress hormones, making pleasure the perfect medicine)

Take care loves!

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