In our fast-paced world, we tend to live in the flight or fight response of the sympathetic nervous system. We are constantly connected to our devices. We are constantly living a fast-paced existence. Most of us never take the time to slow down and really see the world around us.
The human body is not designed to run fast forward 24-7. If we live this way for too long the affects begin to take their toll. We feel disconnected, tired, have trouble sleeping, feel anxiety, stiffness in our joints, shoulders, back, etc.
It's time to shift our focus to the slower and happier parasympathetic nervous system. We need to take time to happily live in our bodies. An old Yogic saying is "If we don't take care of our bodies, where will we live!"
Here are three ways to start slowing down and get back into your body:
- Eating healthy & exercising: Reducing unhealthy carbs and sugar makes a huge difference in raising your energy level so you have more energy to start moving your body every day. Exercise doesn't necessarily mean going to the gym. You can start parking farther away or using the stairs when you go places.
- Connecting with friends and loved ones: Taking the time to connect with family and friends on a regular basis reminds us that we have support and love in our lives which naturally connects us back to the slower pace of life or the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Doing things to connect to our bodies is very important too: As a massage therapist, I find that most people live in their heads and forget that they have a body to take care of. They seem to think that the body will take care of them without giving it much thought. Our bodies were designed to carry us through good times and bad. But it seems lately we are giving our bodies mostly bad…unhealthy food, not much exercise, not much or no down time.
Slowing life down with yoga, meditation, walks in nature, and body work, like massage, are great ways to reconnect with our true selves. This reconnection shows you that your body is your best friend. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.
As spring unfolds, it is wonderful a time to reconnect with nature and ourselves and take the time to take care of ourselves. Start now by meeting a friend for a walk, set a timer to remind yourself to breathe deeply and schedule a massage!
Massage can decrease anxiety, heart rate, cortisol levels, all of which are beneficial to overall health and well-being. "It just feels good." The feel good, relaxation benefits of massage should not be dismissed as unimportant. When people feel relaxed, their outlook on life tends to improve which can lead to perceptions of happiness and contentment and decrease levels of stress.
If you or your loved one has been stressed out or feeling disconnected, share the gift of relaxation for Easter. You can help yourself of your loved ones kick off a healthy spring by putting a gift certificate for a massage in their Easter basket. Gift certificates are available at my office.