Our nervous system responses affect every system in our body; cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, digestive, endocrine, immune/lymphatic, muscular skeletal.
Bringing awareness to the state of our nervous system is an effective tool, knowing when we are in a hyper-aroused state and when a need for down regulation and a para-sympathetic state is required equips us to take care of ourselves and mindfully adjust our reactivity.
We can learn to self regulate through an awareness of how we are operating with the objects around us, with the built environment. This awareness can be applied inter-objectively and inter-subjectively, in a meeting, walking along the street, on the phone, in the car, interacting directly with others; in pretty much any situation we can bring moment to moment awareness to how we interact, how we operate and the affect this is having on our bodies, our breathing, our heart rate, our ease or lack of ease. We will see that for much of the time we are in hyper-aroused nervous system states, we are under stress, on automatic, thinking about the future and dealing with the present unconsciously – our nervous systems are on active alert. We are not present to our immediate experience.
This constant firing leads to adrenal burnout and immune deficiencies, the body can hike into these modes temporarily but needs to know when to drop back into restoration for homeostasis and balance to occur. In rest and restore new positive baselines, synapses and pathways are created. The body needs to rest in order to restore in all of it’s complex systems, we are our body, the more we engage with how we respond to stress the more we can begin to master and affect self regulation. When the nervous system spikes into sympathetic arousal, adrenalin and other hormones are released into the system, very useful when we are in danger but very damaging if this state is constantly charged and these chemicals are in habitual release.
By widening our perception with the goal of gaining a more overall awareness, moment-to-moment we begin to develop the ability to choose to consciously access our para-sympathetic state. Applying awareness to what is happening it is possible for us to adjust our behavior, it is possible for us to adjust our physical relationship to the task in hand. By doing this we are slowing down enough to feel what is happening, slowing and deepening our breathing we are consciously in synch with our physicality. We take in the totality of the situation; we are literally more present to life as it unfolds.
Learning to utilize the intelligence of the nervous system from within, we are bringing the whole of our experience, mind and body into present time awareness, into our own consciousness. Through this we are empowered fully into who we are. We are equipped with the ability to slow down our actual experience enough to affect positive change states in our own nervous system responses; enabling awareness of what is actually occurring within, in response to our outer environment.