15 Ways to Give Your Nervous System a Break?
If you’re chronically stressed, chances are good that your nervous system is in overdrive. It responds to stress by releasing high levels of the hormone cortisol, which can have profound effects on mood and brain function over time if it remains elevated. But there are some simple strategies to temper this response. Here’s how.
1) Get moving:
That might sound obvious, but exercise does reduce stress. A growing body of research has shown that physical activity stimulates the production of endocannabinoids—chemicals similar to those found in marijuana—which help counteract the effects of cortisol.
2) Take a chill pill :
Meditation lowers heart rate more effectively than other relaxation methods, according to recent research from Harvard Medical School. It can also increase the connectivity between neurons in brain regions linked to learning, memory, and stress.
3) Get your zzzs:
Not getting enough sleep? That’s bad for both mental and physical health. One recent study found that chronic insomnia was associated with high cortisol levels and a greater risk of developing depression. Poor sleep increases cortisol directly by disrupting its natural release cycle, or indirectly by prompting you to seek constant stimulation to keep you awake.
4) Kick back with some tea :
Chamomile tea is known for helping calm frazzled nerves, but it’s not the only option: Studies have found that hibiscus tea lowers cortisol as effectively as some medications. Others—including black, green, and white—haven’t been studied as extensively, but are thought to have similar calming effects.
5) Take a multivitamin:
Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency in developed countries, and it’s also linked to higher levels of cortisol. Taking magnesium supplements—ideally in combination with vitamin B6, which helps your body produce cortisol when necessary—has been shown to decrease anxiety in medical students during the exam period. It might make you yawn a lot in the beginning, but it will help you sleep better at night!
6) Try a DIY massage :
Okay, so you probably don’t have an hour to spare for a professional aromatherapy massage—or even half that. But research shows that just 15 minutes of hands-on touch from a friend or partner can lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. It might reduce the body’s stress response as much as morphine 😉
There is some evidence that massages performed by medical professionals can be helpful in cases of high anxiety and insomnia, especially when combined with other therapies such as cognitive therapy and relaxation techniques.
1) Progressive Muscle Relaxation:
One of the simplest ways to relax is also one of the most effective: progressive muscle relaxation, which involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups. This technique is especially beneficial for those whose adrenal fatigue has made it difficult to fall asleep at night.
can work extremely well for those who find it difficult to quiet the mind and relax the body; however, people often find this method very challenging or frustrating because they cannot clear their heads of thought. It is also highly individualized as there are numerous meditation styles—for example, Buddhist, yoga, transcendental, visualization—each with its own set of techniques and protocols.
The power of positive thinking has been greatly underestimated by Western medicine! Our brains have a natural tendency to focus on negative messages rather than positive messages, which can trigger stress responses in our bodies and lead to anxiety and depression.
Exercise reduces stress by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels in the body, while also stimulating the release of endorphins, which boost feelings of joy and relaxation. 5) Deep Breathing:- The simplest way to relax is often the most effective: deep breathing exercises such as yoga breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, massage, visualization, and prayer can help you reduce your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
The lavender essential oil has been shownin research studies to reduce anxiety (with a few drops on your pillow at night or in a warm bath before bed), improve sleep quality (use it in a diffusor at home to create an aromatherapy environment), and boost mood (massage a few drops into your skin when you’re feeling stressed).
7) Listen to music:
Researchers have found that listening to classical music before bed helps initiate deeper sleep states, possibly by naturally slowing brain waves … which brings us to the next point!
8) Eliminate artificial light 1 hour before bedtime:
Artificial light stimulates our brains, inhibiting melatonin production. This makes it difficult for many people with adrenal fatigue to fall asleep at night, especially if they are also experiencing an energy crash around 6 pm every day, which is common in CFS/ME.
9) Improve your mattress & pillow :
A good mattress can make all the difference between tossing and turning vs. sleeping like a baby. It is important to have a comfortable mattress that provides proper support for the lower back, neck, and shoulders while sleeping. Check out this guide
10) Track your sleep:
Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks your movement throughout the night while you’re asleep. The algorithm learns about your habits over time and wakes you up during light sleep. The result? You feel rested after just a few nights of use (no more groggy mornings!), making it easier to get up in the morning without feeling exhausted!
11) Supplement with L-tyrosine :
You can try supplementing with L-tyrosine if you struggle with getting enough high-quality sleep. Taking between 500mg and 2000mg before bed will help boost alertness, focus, and mood during the day.
12) Supplement with 5-htp before bed:
This supplement helps to produce serotonin and melatonin, which can help you sleep better (if you struggle with insomnia). The recommended dose for this is between 100mg and 500mg 30 minutes before bed.
13) Get your magnesium levels checked :
Magnesium is a mineral that we require for over 300 different biochemical reactions in our bodies; it’s found in high amounts in leafy greens as well as nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in this vital mineral because soil quality has been highly compromised due to excessive farming practices over the last few decades.
If you have adrenal fatigue, it’s possible that you’re not producing enough hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which is a prerequisite for absorbing magnesium. If you suspect that this might be an issue for you, have your doctor order the following blood test: serum magnesium level.
14) Try aromatherapy with lavender essential oil :
Lavender has so many amazing qualities! Not only is it calming, but it also boosts mood thanks to its high linalool content (which acts as a GABA receptor agonist in the brain), reduces inflammation, helps wounds heal faster by reducing bacterial load, and much more.
15) Drink camomile tea before bedtime:
The combination of L-theanine and theobromine found in camomile tea makes this one of my favorite evening drinks! Having just one cup of camomile tea before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality, and the specific blend found in this tea helps your body produce more GABA and serotonin.