These are two of the most common buzz words in our society today and it seems as though some people wear them as a badge of honor at times. It’s as though they are proving they are being productive in their lives if they are stressed and have anxiety, the glorification of busyness!
In the 27 years of being in the natural health industry I have seen stress and anxiety get worse, not better. With technology enabling us to do more, those people with insecurities about who they are and have to prove themselves push it even harder, taking on more so they can prove they are good enough, but that’s a different conversation for the future! With the science of Neuroplasticity, it is now being found that the brain has the ability to reform and change. The Britannica encyclopedia defines neuroplasticity as “the capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behaviour in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction”.
There is another new field of science called neurocardiology that shows the heart literally has a mind of its own. With as many as 40,000 neurons, the heart has a nervous system that functions independently of the brain, commonly known as the “heart-brain”, or the intrinsic cardiac nervous system, if you want to get technical. This field shows that the heart and brain are connected by descending and ascending pathways from the brain to the heart. What they have found is 90 percent of the connecting nerve fibers ascend from the heart up to the brain. Stay with me here, it’s about to get a little technical. These neural pathways, from the heart, continuously send signals and information to modify activity in the brain’s higher cognitive and emotional centers. These signals connect through the vagus nerve and continue to the thalamus, which synchronizes activity such as thinking, perceiving, and understanding language. They continue to the frontal lobes, responsible for motor functioning and problem solving and then on to the amygdala, the survival center, which signals emotional memory. The core cells of the amygdala even synchronize to the heart’s beating. This means that if your heart center is open, it’s keeping your brain’s survival centers in check, therefore the more heart centered you are the less likely you will react to stressors in your life. Likewise, the more you are in your head the more likely you will be living in survival mode. The more we live in survival mode, with high cortisol levels pumping through our bodies, the more our bodies and health break down and we run into heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, depression and much more.
Think of a stressful moment or situation in your life for a minute. Can you feel your body start to contract? Is your heart beating a little faster? Are you getting a little warmer? Is your gut starting to twist? You’re in your head and starting to drop into survival mode, where all of your blood flow and energy goes to your limbs to fight or run away from the predator or stressor you’re thinking about. Now take a deep breath, close your eyes and put your attention into your heart space, try to feel your heart beating and how it’s pumping blood through your body keeping you alive, breath slower and longer and feel your breath connecting to your heart beat. Are your symptoms calming down as you consciously get grounded? We definitely need this survival mode to take place in moments of threat and stress in our lives but we need to come back down when that stressful moment is finished. Think of a deer that is about to get chased. Their ears perk up and their whole body becomes alert, they assess the situation and then they run away. Once they are in a safe place they come back into a relaxed state and start eating the grass in the new field they just escaped to. We should be doing the same thing in our lives every day but we keep run, run, running!!! This can send our brains into “incoherence” and accidents can occur, or mistakes in paper work and so on. If you’re finding this is happening in your life you need to take a look at your state of living in survival mode and constantly being on guard and running through your life.
Become willing to take a look at what’s really going on. Where is this need to constantly run coming from? Do you know that shock and trauma gets locked in contraction in your body? Ever get into a car accident and every time you drive by that spot your body starts to shake and sweat and you get a little nervous? This is trauma locked in your subconscious mind that stimulates brain wave patterns to make you “remember” that this is a stressful situation and puts you into survival mode. This can happen with other “traumatic” events in your life such as your mom being to busy to address your concerns when you were 5 years old and you felt abandoned at the time. It may seem silly now but at the age of 5 it was real and it was traumatic! You can change your diet, take medications or natural supplements to nourish or calm your nervous system but if you don’t unlock these subconscious beliefs and patterns you will never truly heal and will keep repeating these patterns until your physical body starts to break down.
Aren’t you sick of this yet??? When you learn to take a deeper look as to what is really going on and realize that the stress is the smoke and something deeper is the fire, this is when you really start to heal your life. You look at life differently, your stress responses change, you liberate energy that was going towards these stress responses to energy you use to enjoy your life instead. We download new updates to our computers and phones all the time because certain aspects won’t work anymore. We can do this for our own lives within our nervous systems and brain wave patterns also.
A peaceful life isn’t about changing your outer reality, although sometimes that’s warranted, its about grounding into you and listening – am I resting within myself or am I on the freight train? Learn to look inside, gain perspective and open the window to let the fresh air in. It’s an inner hygiene process, we take care of our outer hygiene why not do it internally as well. We all have a responsibility to clean up and make space.
Wisdom = hearing the change when it comes as a whisper and then moving when change is still that whisper. Move and evolve with your life instead of fighting against it.
In gratitude to be your guide on your journey,