How To Heal A Dysregulated Nervous System

The nervous system is an incredibly complex and advanced network of cells and tissues.  

It’s responsible for sending and receiving signals throughout your body. It helps control everything from your heartbeat and breathing to your feelings and brain functions.

When our nervous systems get out of whack, it can have some very significant effects on our physical and mental health and just our overall quality of life. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to restore and regulate your nervous system, and I’m going to tell you all about them!

How to Heal A Dysregulated Nervous System

There are many ways to keep the nervous system in check, such as through self-care, relaxation techniques, and healthy lifestyle choices. 

Let’s dive into some tips on how to regulate the nervous system and promote overall well-being. But first…

What Is A Dysregulated Nervous System?

When your autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is in charge of your body’s automatic functions, is out of sync, you have a dysregulated nervous system. 

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) are both parts of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The SNS works to prepare your body for “fight or flight” mode in response to stress. The PNS works to promote your “rest and digest” mode, which helps your body relax and heal. 

When your SNS is overactive, your PNS is underactive. This throws off the balance of your nervous system and makes you feel more alert. 

When we look at the many reasons why your nervous system can become dysregulated, they are all things that CAN be regulated. For example, chronic stress, trauma, illness, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and exposure to environmental toxins are just a few. 

Once your nervous system is dysregulated, it can manifest in many different ways. Look out for feelings of anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, digestive issues, and a dysfunctional immune system. 

If you feel like you might be dealing with this, read on. Today, I am sharing some vital ways that you can start regulating your nervous system. 

How to Regulate The Nervous System

Deep Breathing Exercises

This is such a simple and effective way to calm your nervous system and reduce stress. 

When you do deep breathing exercises, the vagus nerve is stimulated. This nerve helps control your heart rate and blood pressure. 

A great deep breathing exercise would be to inhale through your nose for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, and then exhale through your mouth for four counts. Keep repeating this cycle for a few minutes until you feel yourself relaxing.

Now, of course, breathing exercise may not take immediate effect. But with practice and patience, breathing exercise can make a REAL difference over time. 

Get the Proper Amount of Sleep

Lack of sleep is usually a big driving force in our overall health. 

When you aren’t allowing your body to rest and digest, you may be instead, causing stress hormones to sky-rocket. This is a straight shot at a dysregulated nervous system.

Try to get into the routine of getting at least seven hours of sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime activity to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

Get Physical

A few moderate physical activities, like walking, hiking, biking, and swimming, can help you feel less stressed and make your nervous system work better. 

And of course, more extreme exercises like surfing can be an excellent form of moving meditation to relieve stress as well.

Endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood boosters, are released when you exercise, even just moderately. 

Exercise can also have a positive impact on cognitive function and overall physical health, both of which can contribute to better nervous system regulation and function.

Practice Yoga

I will say it time and time again: the benefits of practicing yoga are endless. 

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines how you stand, how you breathe, and meditation to help you relax and, in the end, feel less stressed (Try out my No Time For Yoga Series free for 7 days).

During a yoga session, you turn on the PNS, lower your cortisol levels, and increase the range of your heart rate. These all promote nervous system regulation. 

Massage Therapy

Ok, so maybe not actual therapy, but a therapeutic technique. 

During a massage, the pressure that is applied to the muscles and soft tissues of your body stimulates the vagus nerve. 

This stimulation can help you feel calm and relaxed, which can lower your stress and ease the symptoms of a nervous system that isn’t working optimally.

If you’re suffering from nervous system dysregulation – you’re not alone. 

All in all, a dysregulated nervous system can significantly impact your physical and emotional well-being. 

However, there are various ways to regulate your nervous system and promote healing. 

From relaxation techniques to healthy lifestyle choices and self-care practices, you can choose the ones that work best for you. 

Incorporating regular exercise, deep breathing, adequate sleep, and massage therapy can significantly help regulate the autonomic nervous system, reduce stress hormones, increase parasympathetic activity, and promote rest and digestion. 

By taking steps to keep your nervous system in check, you can improve your physical and mental health in the long run. 

So, take the first step today and choose at least one of the tips discussed here to incorporate into your daily routine. Your nervous system will thank you.

And remember – you’re not alone. I, too, have had to learn different strategies and techniques to heal my nervous system, as well as everything else! 

Before I hop off, I wanted to leave you one last thought. While I’m a supporter of women choosing whatever type of birth control they want – know that hormonal birth control pills can lead to a dysregulated nervous system (or at least contribute). 

To learn more about women’s health and why I made the choice to switch from the pill to an IUD, click here

If you have any questions or just need some support – drop a comment below! 

xx, K.

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