As we discovered in Part One, we now understand why the nervous system is essential and why we cannot underestimate the impact of the nervous system on our mental health and wellbeing.
The nine powerful practices to nourish our nervous system
As a mindset coach, Claire Fealy reassures us that even if we only focus on one or two of these practices, there would be a noticeable difference to our nervous system and, importantly, achieving a wider tolerance window. These are –
1. Nourishing nutrients
With a little bit of organization, we can plan our meals ahead of time. Foods containing vitamins and minerals such as B12, magnesium, vitamin C, B6, potassium and magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and choline, to name a few.
These nutrients are found in leafy greens, bananas, sweet potatoes, eggs, flax seeds, and avocados. Cut out junk foods containing aspartame, sugar, and trans-fat, which stimulate the neurons and create insomnia, anxiety, and irritability.
Stop drinking caffeine as it limits the absorption of some nutrients, stimulates our nervous system, and forces our adrenals to secrete cortisol.
Claire confirmed the importance of breathing and breathwork. My Mind News reported a close correlation between taking a deep break and reducing stress and anxiety levels.
Breathwork can be the simple act of taking more frequent deep breaths throughout your day, walking, or meditating.
3. Daily emotional regulation
Claire recommends setting aside some time each morning to either journal how you feel, practice the emotional freedom technique (EFT) ‘tapping’ or co-regulate your feelings and emotions compassionately and patiently.
4. Regular massages
There are many benefits to the nervous system from having a regular massage. A massage not only turns on our body’s natural healing abilities but also helps stimulate our nervous system to rest and digest. It also releases deep trauma and tension stored in our tissues.
5. Walk in nature
Walking in nature and stimulating our senses activates our parasympathetic system, boosts our self-esteem and improves our mood.
6. Meaningful connections
It is essential to make time to spend with people who make you feel safe. This basic human need is significant as it allows us to co-regulate and can reduce our stress levels as it stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system.
7. Regulate circadian rhythm
In short, be disciplined about your sleep hygiene and have set sleep and rising times. This should include limiting mobile device interactions before bedtime and when you wake up.
This prevents overstimulation of your parasympathetic nerve and ensures it is not releasing adrenaline as you go to bed or wake up. This practice will also allow the sympathetic nerve to rest.
8. Cold water therapy
Splashing your face or hands with cold water is scientifically proven to reset our nervous system, boost mood and reduce anxiety or stress. This does not have to involve swimming in the sea or taking an ice bath. As long as the water is cold, this is hugely beneficial to our nervous system.
9. Clean rest
The final practice is to ensure you get clean rest. Clean rest is rest that involves doing nothing and consciously switching off. This means it must be free of any guilt for it to be of any benefit to us.
Claire reminds us that we do not have to do all of these, but if we can organize one or two of these practices into our daily week and month and be consistent, we and, importantly, our nervous system should feel the benefits of these simple and not expense habits.
My Mind News recommends Claire’s masterclasses. Check out her to get advanced notice of her masterclasses.
This masterclass was €22.22 (US$24.20) and was so informative and life-changing as not only did it have the science between the subject, but we also had the opportunity to be coached and share personal stories in a safe and supportive environment.
Additionally, it allows you to gain more self-awareness which helps to regulate your emotions and benefit your nervous system.
As we embark into 2023, the writer of this article will challenge herself to do more walking in nature and get more clean rest.
Which of the nine practices do you feel will be a quick win for you? Let us know in the comment box how you get on and how you feel. My Mind News will ensure all comments are shared with Claire.