How does your body keep up with your brain?

Perhaps you know people, colleagues, family, or friends who are so driven, wildly passionate, excited about their work, pushing themselves beyond their limit and then collapsing

I recently attended a ceremony of life for a neighbour who passed away. She was an amazing woman. Full of life, passionate, intense, and lived life to the fullest. Hearing about her life, she took it all on, her work, family, friendships, and living every moment with gusto. She died suddenly of heart failure at age 71.

It got me thinking about myself, people I know and perhaps you do too that are like that.

Are you living in alignment with your brain/mind and body?

How does your body keep up with your faster processing hyperdrive brain?

What the brain believes, the body follows…

The brain and body are connected physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually!

Physiologically, the human body hasn’t evolved much farther than the hunter/gather time when sensing a life-threatening situation the body responds into a “fight or fight” state. This means activating the sympathetic nervous system that prepares the body for action. It begins by releasing the hormone adrenaline and activating neurotransmitters that alerts muscles to contract, eyes become dilated, the heart is palpitating, and energy is focused. A natural stress begins!

The stress accumulates with other stressors, releasing stored sugars and taps into hormone cortisol to get ready for more of the fight, activating pain receptors, immune system, digestion, cardiac and sexual functioning moving into a higher state of distress.

The problem occurs when stressors are constant… not allowing the hormones to settle down and requiring more energy to stay on alert. It cannot return to the parasympathetic state of “rest and digest state” to relax.  Unfortunately, it leads to anxiety then to chronic illness, heart disease, autoimmune illnesses or more.

The brain however is always seeking the easiest way to get into homeostasis, balance. The body also seeks that route and takes the most direct path. It may not be the result you want!

Directing the brain to a safer place for stressors to calm and move into the parasympathetic state can happen when applying three basic principles:

  1. Mindful awareness
  2. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night
  3. Nourishing the body with quality fresh whole foods
  • Mindful awareness is non-judgmental, it is present-focused, moment-to-moment awareness of one’s physical and mental state. The practice of meditation and deep breathing, calms the mind and centres the body moving into a relaxed and peaceful place. Repeating the experience of noting body sensations, emotions and thoughts how they arise, pass and dissolve away, calms an active brain and brings alignment with the body.

Listen to this meditation Awareness of Breath and experience calm.

  • Focusing on sleep is another way in which the brain relaxes and waste products (the body naturally produces) are eliminated or detoxified out of the body. Going to bed every night and waking up every day at the same time, adds to a good night’s sleep.
  • Eating fresh whole foods with lots of colour, mixing raw and cooked foods using quality sources makes a huge difference to feeling and functioning well. The balance of fresh vegetables and fruits (loaded with antioxidants (colourful vegetables), combined with healthy fats and quality proteins contributes to healing stressful episodes.

These actions together make the difference the long term health- not just one thing!

Moving into the holiday season, many are reaching burn-out, how you will approach taking a break?

Build your awareness between mind and body. There’s more to come….

 

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