While there are many wonderful aspects to living in today’s modern society, none of us can escape the highly pressurized atmosphere of unending external and internal demand to constantly perform and produce.
There is no escape because we cannot negate the nervous system’s hard-wired ability to experience the emotional environment created from billions of people constantly worrying, striving, plotting, planning and strategizing to get ahead.
Don't believe me? Take a moment to notice the difference between how a Friday evening feels compared to the mood of a Sunday evening.
Fight or Flight
The Fight or Flight state is a physiological response triggered by the presence of danger. Once activated, our nervous system releases stress hormones designed to keep us alive. These hormones, amongst other things, increases heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.
However, true danger is not something most of us experience. Instead, constant thinking causes us to ask, “What if this situation/event/possibility goes wrong or does not work”.
This effectively creates a body/mind state constantly plagued by worry, anxiety, fear, doubt, insecurity and more. A population living in a perpetual Fight or Flight society explains why 75 - 90% of doctor visits are stress-related.
One major effect of living in a constant survival state is the invisible accumulation of tension. Since we give most of our attention and energy to the endless external requirements society requires, our nervous system consistently receives the message to use stress hormones as a means of meeting these demands.
The problem is that most of us do not take time to stop, let go, release and rest before moving on to our next event. We regulate tension’s voice as unimportant leaving the body to continue storing tension. Tension grows like a vine in the body eventually evolving into aches, pains, joint problems, compromised postures, insomnia, digestive problems, diabetes, heart conditions and more.
When asked, the majority of us believe stress is only an extreme hair-pulling event… “If I can think clearly and I don’t feel stressed, then I must not be stressed, right?" Not quite. While your mind may be thinking clearly, what is happening in your body is an entirely different story…
No Rest For The Weary
From a physiological perspective, our nervous system listens to every thought we think. It continually digests and interprets every piece of content that reaches our senses and makes it real. This explains why worry becomes stomach-clenching anxiety!
From the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to sleep at night, our minds are filled with constant thoughts about: ourselves, to-do lists, other people, relationships, money, problems, details about our past and imaginings about our future. Our days, filled by constantly racing from one mental, physical and emotional event to another, conditioning the body to remain “on”.
Slowing down requires activating the calming part of the autonomic nervous system called the para-sympathetic. One of the most powerful ways to trigger the para-sympathetic nervous system is to through conscious breathing.
When we breathe in through our nose, our nasal passages release a gas called nitric oxide that calms the cardiovascular system. When we breathe slowly out through our nose, we activate the Vagus nerve which is the cranial nerve that lowers heart rate. If the Vagus nerve is not activated, the heart rate remains high.
Taking time to consciously breathe on a daily basis, strengthens and improves the body’s ability to lower your heart rate and leads the body to relax.
The Power of Vibration
The language of the nervous system is experience / vibration. People arguing in a room creates a vibration or feeling that the nervous system ingests. Other examples of stressful situations that communicate to your nervous system include: working in a corporate office, fighting traffic or constantly having to meet deadlines. Fortunately, the nervous system is equally open to ingesting calming environments like spa retreats, the ocean or walks in nature.
We can also harness the power of leading our nervous system to calming experiences through the vibration/feeling of body work, meditation, energy work and crystals…
10 Crystals to help with Stress!
Crystals contain a vibration which directly communicates with our nervous systems. Certain crystals are highly useful (especially combined with breathing) to help de-stress the body and mind.
For instance, the crystal Citrine transmutes, dissipates and grounds negative stressful energy. Amethyst can address ailments of the nervous system. Celestite brings the vibration of peace and harmony to daily living.
Additional crystals to help create peace and de-stress include:
- Fluorite which absorbs and neutralizes negative energy and stress
- Black Tourmaline cleanses, purifies, and transforms dense stressful energy
- Angelite transmutes pain and disorder into wholeness and healing
- Blue Lace Agate brings calmness and peace of mind
- Lepidolite accesses deep emotional healing, reduces stress and depression
- Rose Quartz restores trust and harmony in relationships, encouraging unconditional love
- Clear Quartz is a powerful healing stone which works on any condition
Being peaceful must be more than a concept. For it to have value, you must experience it for yourself. A great way to begin is to practice any form of belly breathing.
My favourite is to simply allow the breath to flow without trying to control it…
Evening Practice - Lie down tonight and feel where your breath begins in your belly. Let it do whatever it wants. You do not have to breath in deeply.
Breathing in this way communicates to your nervous system that you are relaxing. It may even help you fall asleep.
Morning Practice - Next morning, before you get out bed, take time (5, 10, 15 minutes) and again, allow the breath to happen without trying to control it.
Starting your day peaceful and end it the same way, will strengthen your “peaceful muscle” which will allow you to eventually bring this practice into your day. (Surround yourself with crystals and you will experience even greater results.)