7 easy ways to regulate your nervous system
November 1st, 2023
Your nervous system is like the control center for your body’s response to stress, and when it’s in overdrive, it can leave you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted. If it’s in overdrive chronically, this can lead to more serious physical, emotional, and mental ailments.
It’s more important than ever to regulate your nervous system, especially with the current challenges and chaos of today’s modern humaning. The effects of regular practice are cumulative, so daily practice is key!
Here are 7 easy and effective ways to find your center, calm your nervous system, and regain balance in times of uncertainty:
1. Remember to breathe: Taking deep, slow belly breaths will send the message to your nervous system that all is well. Try the 4-7-8 technique—breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat several times.
2. Humming: Humming at a low, steady pitch can stimulate the vagus nerve, which governs your stress response (among many other physiological things). Try mixing the belly breathing and humming “voo” on the exhale at a low tone a few times. I love this one before bedtime.
3. Earthing: Earthing is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve well-being. Whenever possible, sit on the earth or place your bare feet on the ground. Imagine all of your stress flowing out of your feet down into the earth.
4. Aromatherapy: Scents like lavender, chamomile, citrus, and eucalyptus are very calming to the limbic system. Try using essential oils in a diffuser to create a soothing atmosphere.
5. Self hypnosis or guided visualization: Close your eyes and visualize a peaceful place or scenario. Use all of your senses to make the experience real for yourself. Click here for a guided journey inner stillness and deep peace
6. Find reasons to laugh: Laughing releases endorphins and sends the message to your nervous system that you’re not in danger. Watch a funny movie or spend time with people who make you laugh. Have you watched Pete Holmes’ new special on Netflix? I highly recommend it.
7. Havening Technique: Havening involves gently stroking your arms, face, or hands with repetitive, soothing motions. This sensory input can help alleviate emotional distress and promote a sense of safety and calm.
Do you have a nervous system regulation practice that’s not on this list? Let me know in the comments!