Listening to your Body

4 Ways to Get Embodied and Soothe Your Nervous System in the Modern World

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"I Listen to What My Body is Telling Me Today."

How many times a day do we just forget to breathe?

Or refrain from going to the bathroom to push through what we are doing? Our nervous system is ancient and built for survival, not to cope with the challenges of modern life. Tuning into your body and practicing embodiment can significantly reduce stress on your nervous system and enhance your overall well-being. Understanding its functions and finding ways to manage our responses are key to maintaining a healthy balance in today’s world.

In our fast-paced world, the constant barrage of information, tight schedules, and the ever-increasing pace of life can take a toll on your nervous system, leaving you feeling frazzled and disconnected. Understanding the wisdom of our body, and the effects of stresses on the nervous system is essential for health and well-being. When we encounter stressors, whether they are physical, emotional, or psychological, our nervous system kicks into action.

How nervous system response can typically unfold:

  1. Fight-or-flight Response: In response to a perceived threat, your sympathetic nervous system triggers this response, which includes a surge of stress hormones like adrenaline, increased heart rate, and heightened alertness. This response is essential for survival in acute situations like tiger attacks! Prolonged or chronic stress can wreak havoc on your overall health.
  2. Chronic Stress and the Parasympathetic Nervous System: When stress becomes chronic, the sympathetic nervous system remains in overdrive, leading to chronic tension, anxiety, and even physical health issues. Chronic stress can also suppress the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, relaxation, and the body’s ability to recover and heal.
  3. The Importance of Regulation: To maintain overall well-being, it’s crucial to balance the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This balance allows for both healthy responses to stress and effective recovery.
Toolkit for Wellness #heart #health #home

4 ways to become embodied and help your nervous system find balance:

  • 1. Mindful Movement Practices:

    Mindful movement practices, such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong, can have a profound impact on our nervous system. These practices combine physical postures, breath control, and meditation, allowing you to connect deeply with your body.

    • Yoga: Yoga, in particular, encourages awareness of the body, breath, and mind. The physical postures help release physical tension, while controlled breathing fosters relaxation. Over time, yoga can help regulate the nervous system by promoting a balanced stress response. 
    • Tai Chi and Qigong: These ancient Chinese practices emphasize slow, deliberate movements, promoting a deep connection between the mind and body. They help cultivate mindfulness, balance, and relaxation, which all contribute to nervous system regulation.
  •  2. Breathwork and Meditation: Breathwork and meditation techniques can be powerful tools for soothing the nervous system. Mindful breathing practices such as simply observing your breath or alternate nostril breathing can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
    • Meditation: Regular meditation practice trains your mind to stay present, reducing the constant mental chatter that adds to our stress. Better equip you to recognize and respond to stress healthily.

    3. Somatic Practices and Body Awareness: Somatic practices focus on, fostering a deep connection with your body and its sensations. These practices can be helpful for individuals who have experienced trauma or chronic stress.

    • Body Scan Meditation: A body scan meditation involves systematically directing your attention to different parts of your body, paying attention to any sensations or tension you may be holding. This practice helps release physical and emotional tension and promotes a sense of embodiment.
    • Biofeedback and Progressive Muscle Relaxation: These techniques involve becoming acutely aware of muscle tension and then consciously relaxing those muscles. Over time, they can help you recognize and release chronic physical tension, which in turn can reduce stress on your nervous system.

    4. Nature Connection: Spending time in nature is a profoundly grounding practice that can help soothe the nervous system. Nature offers a respite from the demands of the modern world and provides an opportunity to reconnect with your body and the natural world.

    • Earthing (Grounding): The simple act of walking barefoot on natural surfaces, such as grass or sand, can help discharge excess electromagnetic energy and promote a sense of grounding, which can have a calming effect on your nervous system.
    • Forest Bathing: Known as “shinrin-yoku” in Japan, forest bathing involves immersing yourself in a natural environment, often a forest, and engaging your senses. The sights, sounds, and scents of nature can have a calming and restorative effect on your nervous system.

In conclusion, listening to your body and practicing embodiment can reduce stress on your nervous system and provide a path to overall well-being and balance in our modern world. By engaging in and integrating these practices into your daily life, we can create a holistic approach to help reduce stress and enhance our well-being. Creating a sense of calm and resilience in the face of life’s challenges.

Meditation techniques - Pic by Jared Rice on unsplash.



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Leigh Craig at river photo by Emmy @sadinthegarden

Leigh Craig

Certified C. Hyp. RTT® Hypnotherapist, Coach & Bioenergetics Practitioner.

Ever evolving imperfect human. A passionate seeker of knowledge, creator, writer, artist, herbalist, healer, entrepreneur and mother.

Leigh Craig @inviteyourpower © All Rights Reserved.